Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hispanic Heritage Month

For Hispanic Heritage Month, I'd like to tell you about several Latino-themed picture books that you and your child will definitely enjoy.

Chato and the Party Animals is a humorous story about friendship and kindness. Novio Cat has never had a birthday party. He's a cat from the pound and doesn't know his true birthday. When his friends find this out, they plan a birthday party for Novio Cat. Being so busy with the logistics of planning the party, no one remembers to invite Novio Cat! Unfortunately, Novio Cat is nowhere to be found, and his friends are convinced that something terrible has happened to him. Of course, everything turns out just fine in the end, and Novio Cat enjoys a spectacular birthday.

Spanish is sprinkled into the dialogue and narrative (a glossary is provided) and traditional aspects of Latino birthdays are also included (singing Las Mananitas and breaking a pinata). Chato and the Party Animals is a funny and sweet story that works well as a read aloud for kindergarten and elementary school students.

The Pot That Juan Built is a cumulative rhyme (like the "This is the House That Jack Built" rhyme), but it's also a factual story about the world-renowned Mexican potter, Juan Quezada. The left side of the page tells us (in cumulative rhyme) about the intricate work involved in creating the pottery. The right side of the page gives us further information about Quezada's life. Mata Ortiz, the town in which Quezada lives, was once a very poor town. Juan learned pottery in the traditional way, and became very successful. He also taught other townspeople how to make pottery, which helped the town become a self-sufficient town of artists. The Pot That Juan Built is an inspiring story of a remarkable artist, his passion for his art, and his love of his town.

If you would like more titles centered around Hispanic Heritage Month, pick up a copy of our Hispanic Heritage booklist the next time you visit the library.

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