Wednesday, September 04, 2013

New Bilingual Children's Books by Lupe Ruiz-Flores

  • Lupita's First Dance / El Primer Baile de Lupita

  • by Lupe Ruiz-Flores.
  • Illustrated by Gabhor Utomo.
  • Translated by Gabriela Baeza Ventura.

ISBN-13: 9781558857728
Publisher: Arte Publico Press
Publication date: 11/28/2013

Lupita is excited about dancing la raspa, a Mexican folk dance, with her first-grade class at a celebration of Children's Day. But she's devastated when she learns right before the show that her partner Ernesto sprained his right ankle.

She had been practicing for weeks. And now her family won't get to see her, swishing and swaying in her beautiful dress full of colorful ribbons. Lupita sadly watches the other dancers from backstage behind the blue velvet curtain. But suddenly, she finds herself on stage, in the spot where she and Ernesto should have been. She begins to dance the routine she knows so well, holding her arms out to an imaginary partner, and almost flees when the audience laughs at her.

But the sight of her mother encourages her to be brave. She continues the dance, becoming the star of the show—at least in the eyes of her proud teacher and parents.

Let's Salsa / Bailemos Salsa

by Lupe Ruiz-Flores.
Illustrated by Robert Casilla.
Translated by Natalia Rosales-Yeomans.

ISBN-13: 9781558857629
Publisher: Arte Publico Press
Publication date: 11/28/2013

Estella can't help but giggle when she sees her neighbors, Doña Rosa and Doña Maria, shaking their hips while dancing and sweating at an exercise class at the community recreation center. A few days later, when her mother complains about gaining weight, Estella encourages her to join the class.

Every day after school, Estella enjoys watching the women dance to the rhythmic music. And she's especially thrilled when the instructor invites her to join them in dancing salsa. “Salsa? That's what it's called? I thought salsa was to eat with chips!”

But one day, kids are banned from the class, and Estella is forced to go to a boring crafts class instead. She'd much rather be dancing! So when Estella learns that women had to fight to gain the right to vote, she decides she'll petition for kids' rights to enjoy salsa dance classes at the community center!

In this bilingual picture book for children ages 5-9, a young girl learns that dancing is good for fun and fitness, and that even kids can change the way things are done.


Lupe Ruiz-Flores said...

Thanks for the post, Rene. I had fun writing these two books. I hope readers enjoy them and the beautiful illustrations.

Olga said...

Thanks, Rene & Lupe. These look like great books with strong female characters. We need more of these for children and young readers. I'm also happy to see that the stories have to do with moving el cuerpo. I love the illustration of Estella getting down on the cover of Bailemos Salsa! I will definitely check these out.