A charming tale almost any child (and parent) can relate to.

CLARA AND THE CURANDERA / CLARA Y LA CURANDERA

In Brown’s latest bilingual offering, a grumpy little Latina girl gets a subtle lesson in caring, sharing and the pleasures of reading.

Clara is tired of taking out the trash, sharing her things with her seven siblings and reading a book for school each week. Exasperated by her daughter’s grumpiness, Mami sends the girl to the wise curandera (healer) in their building. The curandera tells Clara that she must take out her family’s trash, along with the trash of two of her neighbors. She must also give her favorite toys to her siblings, and she must read five books that week. Unwilling to disobey, Clara follows the woman’s orders, and readers will see the changes Clara misses. Her neighbors shower her with hugs and compliments for taking out their trash. Her brothers and sisters, amazed at their sister’s generosity, invite Clara to play all week. At the library, she discovers books that she really wants to read. In fact, she stops frowning. When the curandera’s assigned tasks end and Clara returns to her grumpy old self, she has just the epiphany the curandera knew she would. Well-translated Spanish text is set below the English text through most of the book, with Muriada’s colorful mixed-media illustrations on the facing pages.

A charming tale almost any child (and parent) can relate to. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-55885-700-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Piñata Books/Arte Público

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life.

¡VAMOS! LET'S GO TO THE MARKET

From the ¡Vamos! series

Little Lobo and his dog, Bernabé, journey through a Mexican mercado delivering diverse goods to a variety of booths.

With the aid of red words splattered throughout the spreads as labels, Raúl the Third gives an introduction to Spanish vocabulary as Little Lobo, an anthropomorphic wolf, leaves his house, fills his cart with objects from his warehouse, and delivers them to the market’s vendors. The journey also serves as a crash course in Mexican culture, as the images are packed with intertextual details such as food, traditional games, and characters, including Cantinflas, Frida Khalo, and Juan Gabriel. Readers acquainted with Raúl the Third’s characters from his Lowriders series with author Cathy Camper will appreciate cameos from familiar characters. As he makes his rounds, Little Lobo also collects different artifacts that people offer in exchange for his deliveries of shoe polish, clothespins, wood, tissue paper, paintbrushes, and a pair of golden laces. Although Raúl the Third departs from the ball-pen illustrations that he is known for, his depiction of creatures and critters peppering the borderland where his stories are set remains in his trademark style. The softer hues in the illustrations (chosen by colorist Bay) keep the busy compositions friendly, and the halftone patterns filling the illustrations create foregrounds and backgrounds reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pointillism.

A culturally intricate slice of a lupine courier’s life. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-55726-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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