It is my great pleasure to announce that I'm participating in a fabulous celebration of children and books called Día Blog Hop, organized by Latinas for Latino Lit. The Blog Hop features the very best of Latino children's book illustrators and authors.
It's very cool to be a part of such a great group and program. 13 Latino authors and illustrators have been paired up with 12 top Latina bloggers to champion Latino children's literacy.
The schedule of blogs that will be hopping along with me are:
Monday, April 27th
Pat Mora on Latinas 4 Latino Lit
Monica Brown on The Wise Latina Club
Margarita Engle on MommyMaestra
Tuesday, April 28th
Alma Flor Ada on My Big, Fat, Cuban Family
René Colato-Laínez on Modern Mami
Meg Medina on Atypical Familia
Wednesday, April 29th
Angela Dominguez on My Friend Betty Says
F. Isabel Campoy on Family is Familia
Mariana Llanos on Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes
Thursday, April 30th Graciela Tiscareno-Sato on Viva Fifty!
Rená Saldaña, Jr. on Mama Latina Tips
James Luna on Latinaish
I'm so proud to add my voice to this group. I hope you have a chance to check out all the wonderful offerings.
The Día Blog Hop will be culminating on April 30th in honor of Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros.
But, right now, it's my great privilege to introduce you to Alma Flor Ada, the prolific author who is my special guest today.
Alma Flor's Story
Sharing the diversity and richness of the Latino roots is a constant in my work and the books I have co-authored with Isabel Campoy. Children growing up in Latin America or Spain are immersed in the Spanish language and the Hispanic culture, while, in the United States, Latino children may have only a reduced contact with their cultural heritage.
This is why we try to offer them, in books and CDs, as much of the culture that contributed so significantly to shape our own lives.
In the collection Cuentos que contaban nuestras abuelas /Tales Our Abuelitas Told co-authored by us, as well as in many of my books: Mediopollito/Half-chicken; The Three Golden Oranges, The rooster who went to his uncle’s wedding/El gallo que fue a la boda de su tío, The Lizard and the Sun/La lagartija y el sol we have retold the stories that delighted us as children, trying to make them as enjoyable as they were in our grandmothers’ voices.
The books Pío Peep, Mother Goose, MuuMoo, andTen Little Puppies/Diez perritos are compilations of our nursery rhymes.
Merry Navidad a collection of villancicos organized to tell the Christmas story. We have also created poetry anthologies, biographies, and books on art and various aspects of the culture.
Alongside collecting what already existed, we have also written our original poetry. Something particularly exciting is that the great composer and singer Suni Paz has created music for many of our poems. All the poems of my books Gathering the Sun, honoring the farm working families, Abecedario de los animales and Coral y espuma Abecedario del mar have been recorded as songs by Suni Paz.
Todo es canción, includes many of my most cherished poems and Arrullos de la sirena, poems for the very young child which I wrote while waiting for the birth of two of my granddaughters.
Yes! We Are Latinos, published in Spanish as Sí, somos latinos is our most recent effort to present important aspects of our history introduced by free verse fictional narratives of latino boys and girls, from various origins, to provide specific circumstances for the reader to better understand the quest for identity.
Me llamo María Isabel /My Name is María Isabel, Dancing Home/Nacer bailando and Love, Amalia/Con cariño, Amalia are all books that explore being Latino from the perspective of protagonists with very different circumstances.
Many of our families are now bicultural and that reality more common each day inspired I Love Saturdays y domingos / Me encantan los Saturdays y domingos about a child who spends Saturdays with her English speaking grandparents and Sundays with her abuelita y abuelito.
Children and adolescents’ search for understanding life can motivate their desire to know about those who lived before and Latino youth also wonder about the lives of their ancestors. In Where the Flame Trees Bloom and Under the Royal Palms, which was awarded the Pura Belpré medal, I share memories of my childhood, written from the desire to honor those who had enriched my growing up years, hoping that recreating the past, it can continue to live in the present and perhaps inspire others in the future.
Now, 15 years later, Under the Royal Palms and Where the Flame Trees Bloom will appear together in one volume, enriched by Days at La Quinta Simoni, a third new collection of childhood stories, and numerous photographs, with a cover from Edel Rodriguez and illustrations by Edel and Antonio Martorell. This new book, called Island Treasures is a recognition to the appreciation shown by numerous students and the teachers who encouraged them to write about their families and childhood after reading my memoirs and the tribute of the publisher, Atheneum, to the importance of Latino experiences.
Thank you, Latinas for Latino Lit for including My Big, Fat, Cuban Family in this project.