It’s almost the end of Hispanic Heritage month, but there’s still time to celebrate, with a book! If you get a chance, check out our display, on the shelves when you first come into the library.
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PICTURE BOOKS (J PIC)
Aardema, Verna. Pedro and the Padre.
In this Mexican folktale, a lazy boy learns a lesson about lying.
Alvarez, Julia. The Secret Footprints.
A story based on Dominican folklore about the ciguapas, a tribe of beautiful underwater people whose feet are attached backwards, with their toes pointing in the direction from which they have come.
Andrews-Goebel, Nancy. The Pot That Juan Built.
Juan Quezada is the premier potter in Mexico. Using local materials and the primitive methods of the Casas Grandes people, Juan creates stunning pots in the traditional style, each a work of art unlike any other.
Brown, Monica. Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match.
Try as she might, in a world where everyone tries to put this biracial, Peruvian-Scottish-American girl into a box, Marisol McDonald doesn’t match. And that’s just fine with her.
Dorros, Arthur. Isla.
A young girl and her grandmother take an imaginary journey to the Caribbean island where her mother grew up and where some of her family still lives.
Elya, Susan Middleton. Little Roja Riding Hood.
While Roja picks flowers on the way to her grandma’s, a mean wolf sneaks away with her cape to surprise Abuelita. But Grandma’s no fool and Roja’s no ordinary chica. They send that hungry lobo packing with a caliente surprise!
Engle, Margarita. Drum Dream Girl.
Follows a young Cuban girl in the 1930s as she strives to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums, and that there’s never been a female drummer in Cuba.
Flora, James. The Fabulous Firework Family.
A Mexican family prepares a grand fireworks display for the festival of the village’s patron saint. With illustrations labeled in Spanish.
Johnston, Tony. The Iguana Brothers.
Dom and Tom, the iguana brothers, eat flowers, pretend to be dinosaurs, and discover that they can be best friends.
—. Isabel’s House of Butterflies.
Eight-year-old Isabel hopes that her plan will spare her favorite tree, keep the butterflies coming, and provide an income for her poor family in Mexico.
—. My Abuelita.
With great gusto, a child’s grandmother performs deep knee bends, consumes a breakfast of “huevos estrellados,” and practices vocal exercises before going to work as a storyteller.
Keats, Ezra Jack. Roberto Walks Home.
Roberto is thrilled that his older brother Miguel is going to walk him home from school. But when Miguel forgets and shoots hoops with his friends instead, Roberto is mad and has to walk alone. How will Miguel make it up to Roberto?
Kimmel, Eric. The Runaway Tortilla.
In Texas, Tia Lupe and Tio Jose make the best tortillas — so light that the cowboys say they just might jump right off the griddle. One day, a tortilla does just that.
—. The Three Cabritos.
Once upon a time three cabritos (little goats) decide to go to a Mexican fiesta. But their mother is worried. She warns them about Chupacabra, the goat-sucker who lives beneath the bridge. And sure enough, as the goats cross the bridge, he jumps out!
Lattimore, Deborah. The Flame of Peace. (PB)
To prevent the outbreak of war, a young Aztec boy must outwit nine evil lords of the night to obtain the flame of peace from Lord Morning Star.
Manning, Maurie. Kitchen Dance.
Two sleepy children sneak out of their beds to watch as their parents, who love each other very much, break into a dance while washing the dishes.
Markun, Patricia Maloney. The Little Painter of Sabana Grande.
Lacking paper, a young Panamanian artist paints the outside of his adobe home.
Medina, Meg. Mango, Abuela, and Me.
The night she arrives, Mia tries to share her favorite book with Abuela before they go to sleep and discovers that Abuela can’t read the words inside. So while they cook, Mia helps Abuela learn English (“Dough. Masa“), and Mia learns some Spanish too, but it’s still hard for Abuela to learn the words she needs to tell Mia all her stories.
Montes, Marisa. Los Gatos Black on Halloween.
Under October’s luna, full and bright, the monsters are throwing a ball in the Haunted Hall. Las brujas come on their broomsticks. Los muertos rise from their coffins to join in the fun. Los esqueletos rattle their bones as they dance through the door. And the scariest creatures of all aren’t even there yet!
—. Juan Bobo Goes to Work.
Although he tries to do exactly as his mother tells him, foolish Juan Bobo keeps getting things all wrong.
Mora, Pat. Abuelos.
Young Ray and Amelia move to a new village and experience the fright and fun of “los abuelos” for the first time, a tradition from northern New Mexico. In the cold months of midwinter, village men disappear to disguise themselves as scary old men and then descend on the children, teasing them and asking if they’ve been good.
—. Book Fiesta!
Children read aloud in various settings to celebrate of El día de los niños, or Children’s Day, in this bilingual story. Includes facts about Mexico’s annual celebration of children and the book fiestas that are often included.
A young multiracial boy celebrates family, friendship, and fun by telling about some of the everyday things for which he is thankful.
Morales, Yuyi. Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book.
As Senor Calavera prepares for Grandma Beetle’s birthday he finds an alphabetical assortment of unusual presents, but with the help of Zelmiro the Ghost, he finds the best gift of all.
—. Niño Wrestles the World.
Lucha Libre champion Niño has no trouble fending off monstrous opponents, but when his little sisters awaken from their naps, he is in for a no-holds-barred wrestling match that will truly test his skills.
Soto, Gary. Too Many Tamales.
Maria tries on her mother’s wedding ring while helping make tamales for a Christmas family get-together. Panic ensues when hours later, she realizes the ring is missing.
Tafolla, Carmen. Fiesta Babies.
These Fiesta Babies dance, march on parade, and sing along to mariachi songs in their spirited celebration of fiestas. From piñatas to flower coronas, little ones are introduced to the many colorful aspects of an important and lively Latino cultural tradition.
Thong, Roseanne Greenfield. Green is a Chile Pepper.
Children discover a world of colors all around them. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, but all are universal in appeal.
Tonatiuh, Duncan. Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin.
Two cousins, one in Mexico and one in New York City, write to each other and learn that even though their daily lives differ, at heart the boys are very similar.
—. Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale.
When Papa Rabbit does not return home as expected from many seasons of working in the great carrot and lettuce fields of El Norte, his son Pancho sets out on a dangerous trek to find him, guided by a coyote.
Vamos, Samantha. The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred.
A cumulative tale of a farm maiden who, aided by a group of animals, prepares “arroz con Leche,” or rice pudding.
Velasquez, Eric. Grandma’s Gift.
After they prepare their traditional Puerto Rican celebration, Eric and Grandma visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a school project, where he sees a painting by Diego Velasquez and realizes for the first time that he could be an artist when he grows up.
—. Looking for Bongo.
When a boy’s abuela accuses him of being careless with his beloved Bongo, he devises a trap and catches the toy thief red-handed.
Yacowitz, Caryn. Pumpkin Fiesta.
Hoping to win a prize for the best pumpkin at the fiesta, Foolish Fernando tries to copy Old Juana’s successful gardening techniques, but without really watching to see how much effort and love she puts into her work. Includes a recipe for pumpkin soup.
FAIRY & FOLK TALES
Aardema, Verna. Borreguita and the Coyote. (J 398.2 AAR)
What’s a little lamb to do about a fierce coyote that wants to eat her? Why, trick him, of course… and trick him again…and trick him one more time!
Gerson, Mary-Joan. Fiesta Femenina. (J 398.2 GER)
A collection of folktales from various cultures in Mexico, all focusing on the important roles of women, such as Rosha, a young girl who rescues the sun; the goddess Tangu Yuh; Kesne, a Zapotec princess; and the Virgin Mary.
—. People of Corn. (J 398.2 GER)
After several unsuccessful attempts to create grateful creatures, the Mayan gods use sacred corn to fashion a people who will thank and praise their creators.
Hayes, Joe. Juan Verdades: The Man Who Couldn’t Tell a Lie. (J 398.2 HAY)
A wealthy rancher is so certain of the honesty of his foreman that he wagers his ranch.
Hayes, Joe. La Llorona: The Weeping Woman. (J 398.2097 MOR)
Retells, in parallel English and Spanish text, the traditional Hispanic American tale of a proud and beautiful woman who, in a fit of jealousy, commits a terrible act and then cannot stop weeping for it, even after she is dead.
Kimmel, Eric. The Lady in the Blue Cloak. (J 398.2 KIM)
A collection of stories depicting the history of seven Texas missions from the 17th century to the 19th century.
—. The Two Mountains: An Aztec Legend. (J 398.2089 KIM)
Two married gods disobey their orders and visit Earth. They are turned into mortals as punishment and eventually become mountains so that they will always stand side by side.
Lamadrid, Enrique. Juan the Bear and the Water of Life. (J 398.2 LAM)
Although treated as outcasts, three superhuman friends, including Juan del Oso, whose father was a bear, create an irrigation system for New Mexico’s Mora Valley.
Lilly, Melinda. The Moon People. (J 398.208 LIL)
The moon people use a cloud bridge to travel to the Earth, a messy but beautiful world of incredible variety that becomes their new home.
—. The Snake’s Toothache. (J 398.208 LIL)
An old witch who lives in a cave in a volcano with a fiery snake uses her wits to keep the serpent from destroying her village.
—. Song of the Sun. (J 398.209 LIL)
Eagle Warrior tries to find a way to free his fellow musicians who have been captured by the jealous Sun because they have only honored the Spirit of Night.
Mora, Pat. The Night the Moon Fell. (J 398.2 MOR)
When a gust from her grandfather’s blowgun causes Luna to tumble from the sky and fall into the ocean, the little fishes help her rise once again, in an updated retelling of a traditional Mopan Maya myth from Belize.
Palacios, Argentina. The Llama’s Secret. (J 398.21 P)
A Peruvian rendition of the Great Flood story, in which a llama warns the people and animals to seek shelter on Huillcacato to avoid the rising sea, Mamacocha.
Parker, Robert Andrew. The Monkey’s Haircut. (J 398.2 BIE)
A collection of twenty-two traditional tales from the Mayas, including “How Christ Was Chased” and “The Corn in the Rock.”
Philip, Neil. Horse Hooves and Chicken Feet. (J 398.2 HOR)
This unique collection of fifteen folktales draws on the rich storytelling tradition of Mexico’s people and culture. Lively retellings and vibrant, whimsical paintings, based on Mexican folk art, make these spirited tales a perfect introduction to this little-known body of folk literature.
Storace, Patricia. Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel. (J 398.2 STO)
You live in a tower without a stair, Sugar Cane, Sugar Cane, let down your hair. Stolen away from her parents on her first birthday by island sorceress Madam Fate, beautiful Sugar Cane grows up in a tower overlooking the sea.
Wood, Nancy. The Girl Who Loved Coyotes: Stories of the Southwest. (J 398.2 WOO)
Contains twelve original tales based on folklore that combine elements from Native American, Spanish, and Anglo cultures and focus on the Southwest, coyotes, and magic.
Ada, Alma Flor. Pio Peep! (J 461 PIO)
A collection of more than two dozen nursery rhymes in Spanish, from Spain and Latin America, with English translations.
Alarcon, Francisco X. Iguanas in the Snow. (J 811.54 ALA)
This collection of poems invites young readers to celebrate winter at the seashore, in San Francisco and in the redwood forests of the Sierras.
Ancona, George. ¡Olé flamenco! (J 793.3 ANC)
Flamenco: it’s dancing, it’s singing, it’s guitar playing! It’s a way of expressing oneself that has evolved from many influences over hundreds of years. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, we meet Janira Cordova, the youngest member of a company studying to perform flamenco.
Brown, Monica. My Name is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (J 468 BRO)
As a boy, Gabito had the ability to imagine many things. He lived in a small house with a large family. He would grow up to become a writer known as Gabriel García Márquez.
Engle, Margarita. The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom. (J 811.54 ENG)
Cuba has fought three wars for independence, and still she is not free. This history in verse creates a lyrical portrait of Cuba.
Gonzalez, Lucia. The Storyteller’s Candle. (J 468 GON)
During the early days of the Great Depression, New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpré, introduces the public library to immigrants living in El Barrio and hosts the neighborhood’s first Three Kings’ Day fiesta.
Morales, Yuyi. Viva Frida. (J 468 MOR)
Frida Kahlo, one of the world’s most famous and unusual artists is revered around the world. Her life was filled with laughter, love, and tragedy, all of which influenced what she painted on her canvases.
Petrillo, Valerie. A Kid’s Guide to Latino History. (J 973.0468 PET)
Features more than 50 hands-on activities, games, and crafts that explore the diversity of Latino culture and teach children about the people, experiences, and events that have shaped Hispanic American history.
Rosario, Idalia. Idalia’s Project ABC. (J 468.6 ROS)
Introduces the alphabet by means of brief bilingual descriptions of city life.
Schmidt, Gary D. Martin de Porres: The Rose in the Desert. (J 282.092 SCH)
As the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a former slave, Martin de Porres was born into extreme poverty. Even so, his mother begged the church fathers to allow him into the priesthood. Instead, Martin was accepted as a servant boy. But soon, the young man was performing miracles.
Tafolla, Carmen. What Can You Do With a Rebozo? (J 468 TAF)
A spunky young girl explains the many uses of her mother’s red rebozo, a traditional Mexican woven shawl.
Tonatiuh, Duncan. Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation. (J 379.2 TON)
Years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 in California.
Zepeda, Gwendolyn. Growing Up with Tamales. (J 468 ZEP)
Six-year-old Ana looks forward to growing older and being allowed more responsibility in making the tamales for the family’s Christmas celebrations.
CHAPTER BOOKS and FICTION
Agosin, Marjorie. I Lived on Butterfly Hill. (J FIC)
Eleven-year-old Celeste Marconi is a dreamer, a writer, a collector of words. But then a new whispered word trickles into her life: “Subversives.” Her beloved country of Chile has been taken over by a military dictatorship, and subversives — people considered a threat to the new government — are in increasing danger.
American Girl series. Josefina. (J SERIES)
Nine-year-old Josefina, the youngest of four sisters living in New Mexico in 1824, tries to help run the household after her mother dies.
Bulla, Clyde Robert. The Paint Brush Kid. (J CHP)
Nine-year-old Gregory paints pictures representing the life of the Mexican American old man known as Uncle Pancho and attempts to save him from losing his house.
Cameron, Ann. The Most Beautiful Place in the World. (J FIC)
Growing up with his grandmother in a small Guatemalan town, seven-year-old Juan discovers the value of hard work, the joy of learning, and the location of the most beautiful place in the world.
Fleischman, Sid. Bandit’s Moon. (J FIC)
Twelve-year-old Annyrose relates her adventures with Joaquín Murieta and his band of outlaws in the California gold-mining region during the mid-1800s.
Flood, Pansie Hart. It’s Test Day, Tiger Turcotte. (J CHP)
Already so worried about the big second grade test that his stomach is upset, seven-year-old Tiger Turcotte, whose parents are African American, Meherrin Indian, and Hispanic, gets stuck on the question about race.
Jennings, Patrick. Faith and the Electric Dogs. (J PBK)
Because Faith hates her new life in Mexico, she and her faithful mutt, Edison, flee by rocket and find adventures which cause her to have a change of heart.
Jules, Jacqueline. Zapato Power series (J CHP)
Freddie finds a mysterious package outside his apartment containing sneakers that allow him to run faster than a train, and inspire him to perform heroic deeds.
Lord, Cynthia. A Handful of Stars. (J FIC)
When her blind dog slips his collar, twelve-year old Lily meets Salma Santiago, a young Hispanic girl whose migrant family are in Maine for the blueberry-picking season, and, based partly on their mutual love of dogs, the two forge a friendship while painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather–but as the Blueberry Queen pageant approaches Lily and Selma are confronted with some of the hard truths of prejudice and migrant life.
Mikaelson, Ben. Sparrow Hawk Red. (J FIC & J PBK)
Thirteen-year-old Ricky, the Mexican American son of a former Drug Enforcement Agency man, tries to avenge his mother’s murder by crossing over into Mexico to steal a high-tech radar plane from drug smugglers.
Ryan, Pam Munoz. Becoming Naomi Leon. (J FIC)
When Naomi’s absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father.
—. The Dreamer. (J FIC)
A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world.
—. Esperanza Rising. (J PBK)
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.
—. Riding Freedom. (J FIC & J PBK)
A fictionalized account of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst who ran away from an orphanage, posed as a boy, moved to California, and fooled everyone by her appearance.
Stanley, Diane. Elena. (J FIC)
A Mexican American girl recounts how her mother moved the family to America during the Mexican Revolution.
Wojciechowska, Maia. Shadow of a Bull. (J FIC)
Manolo Olivar has to make a decision: to follow in his famous father’s shadow and become a bullfighter, or to follow his heart and become a doctor.
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Thanks to Casey, for helping prepare this list!