Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Sofi Paints Her Dreams / Sofi pinta sus sueños

Written by Raquel M. Ortiz

Illustrated by Roberta Collier-Morales

ISBN: 978-1-55885-883-1
Publication Date: May 31, 2019
Bind: Hardcover
Pages: 32

This bilingual picture book introduces an imaginative girl and the art and music of the Caribbean.

Young Sofi enters a New York City community garden and finds a half-painted mural. It’s full of big, leafy plants in blue and yellow, and a vibrant emerald green color appears where the two colors meet. As Sofi runs her fingers over the image, she is suddenly transported to a beautiful place with plants just like the ones on the wall!

Sofi finds herself in the Dominican Republic, where she meets a young boy named Juan Luis. He is writing a song, but he’s stuck on the lyrics and needs her help. After they finish the song, the pair flies over the river that separates San Pedro de Macoris from Haiti. There, Juan Luis introduces her to his friend, Güerlande, a young metal artist. She also needs Sofi’s help. Can she make just the right shade of purple to paint Güerlande’s huge mermaid sculpture?

This bilingual picture book about an imaginative girl and an enchanted mural is an engaging exploration of the cultural traditions of the Caribbean. The sequel to Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural / Sofi y el mágico mural musical, this story introduces young readers to the art and music of the gorgeous island of Hispaniola. Kids will be encouraged to explore their own artistic talents after reading about internationally acclaimed Dominican musician, Juan Luis Guerra, and Haitian artist, Güerlande Balan.


“A little girl steps into a piece of art and connects to a musician and artist from Hispaniola in a second book about the young girl’s introduction to different cultures (Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural / Sofi y el mágico mural musical, 2015). After Sofi is unable to create the color purple for art class, she leaves school frustrated. On her walk home, she finds a painter working in a nearby garden. Touching a painting, she finds herself meeting two important artists: Dominican Afro-Latin singer and composer Juan Luis Guerra and Haitian sculptor Guerlande Balan. Sofi helps Guerra finish the lyrics to a song and then makes a perfect purple to assist Balan with a statue. The book features blocks of text, English followed by Spanish, over mostly double-page spreads of Sofi’s adventure. The story serves as a primer on some Haitian and Dominican terms and cultural touchstones… Author Ortiz has a background in museums and making them more accessible, and in her work she makes a strong case for making those connections.”—Kirkus Reviews

RAQUEL M. ORTIZ was born and raised in Lorain, Ohio. She is the author of a bilingual picture book, Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural / Sofi y el mágico mural musical (Arte Público Press, 2015). She has worked at The Brooklyn Museum, the Allen Memorial Art Museum and El Museo del Barrio. Currently she creates educational material for the Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors Program at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City.

ROBERTA COLLIER-MORALES has illustrated numerous books for kids, including Salsa (Piñata Books, 1998). A member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, she lives and works in Longmont, Colorado.

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