Results of the Pura Belpré Award in the year 2000.
In this companion volume to Alma Flor Ada's Where the Flame Trees Bloom, the author offers young readers another inspiring collection of stories and reminiscences drawn from her childhood on the island of Cuba. Through those stories we see how the many events and relationships she enjoyed helped shape who she is today.
We learn of a deep friendship with a beloved dance teacher that helped sustain young Alma Flor through a miserable year in school. We meet relatives, like her mysterious Uncle Manolo, whose secret, she later learns, is that he dedicated his life to healing lepers. We share the tragedy of another uncle whose spirited personality leads to his love of flying... and the crash that takes his life.
Heartwarming, poignant, and often humorous, this collection encourages children to discover the stories in their our own lives - stories that can help inform their own values and celebrate the joys and struggles we all share no matter where or when we grew up.
From the Bellybutton of the Moon is renowned poet Francisco X. Alarcon's fresh collection of 22 bilingual poems inspired by his touching recollections of childhood summers in Mexico. With a poet's magical vision, Alarcon takes us back to his childhood when he traveled with his family to Mexico to visit his grandma and other relatives. We travel with him in the family station wagon, across the misty mountain range to the little town of Atoyac. There, in the beloved town of his ancestors, we hear his grandma's stories, sample Auntie Reginalda's tasty breakfasts, learn about the keys to the universe, and take playful dips in the warm sea.
The lighthearted illustrations of Maya Christina Gonzalez perfectly capture the spirit of a summer in Alarcon's Mexico where "colors are more colorful, tastes are tastier, and even time seems to slow down".
From one of the most prominent Chicano poets writing today, here are poems like sweet music - to make the body shake and move to the rhythm of rhyme, to the pulse of words. Juan Felipe Herrera writes in both Spanish and English about the joy and laughter and sometimes the confusion of growing up in an upside-down, jumbled-up world-between two cultures, two homes. With a crazy maraca beat, Herrera creates poetry as rich and vibrant as mole de ole and pineapple tamales... an aroma of papaya... a clear soup with strong garlic, so you will grow not disappear. Herrera's words are hot & peppery, good for you. They show us what it means to laugh out loud until it feel like flying.
Laughing out loud, I fly, toward the good things, to catch Mama Lucha on the sidewalk, afterschool, waiting for the green-striped bus, on the side of the neighborhood store, next to almonds, Jose's tiny wooden mule, the wiseboy from San Diego, teeth split apart, like mine in the coppery afternoon . . .