For the April 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge,
and to honor National Poetry Month, we have the Magical Cycle of the Seasons Series by poet Francisco X. Alarcón and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez.
Starting the year is the Pura Belpre Honor Award book Laughing Tomatoes: And Other Spring Poems / Jitomates Risuenos: Y Otros Poemas de Primavera. As with the other books in the series, poems in the book have both an English version and a Spanish version. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to get the ideas and sounds/rhythm down pat in two languages? In the downloadable Teacher’s Guide (link at bottom) at Lee & Low books, Alarcón explains that some of the poems came first in Spanish, some in English and some he wrote in both languages at the same time.
Next, in From the Bellybutton of the Moon: And Other Summer Poems / Del Ombligo de la Luna: Y Otros Poemas de Verano Alarcón takes a slightly different track than the first book by revisiting a trip to Mexico that occurred during his childhood.
The third in the series, Angels Ride Bikes: And Other Fall Poems / Los Angeles Andan en Bicicleta: Y Otros Poemas de Otoño (The Magical Cycle of the Seasons Series), explores the city of Los Angeles and activities families do there.
Winding up the year is Iguanas in the Snow/Iguanas en la nieve: And Other Winter Poems/Y otros poemas de invierno. In this book Alarcón moves to northern California. The Spanish poems are generally presented first except for the title poem, “Iguanas in the Snow.” In this intriguing poem, children experience snow for the first time. Their mother laughs, saying that their green cold-weather clothing makes them look like iguanas.
The books in this series would be useful for poetry units, as well as for learning languages.
The downloadable Teacher’s Guide (link at bottom)
Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: 1 and up
Series: The Magical Cycle of the Seasons Series
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books Inc; First Trade Paper Edition edition (March 10, 2005)
Look for 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge books on the third Wednesday of each month.
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