Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Speaking of Super Heroes...

While catching up with Literanista - the first blog I ever followed, and one of my constant favorites - I found out that the actress who played Wonder Woman is a Latina!

Linda Jean Córdova Carter is the beautiful brunette who played Wonder Woman. I remember being a kid and watching the weekly episodes, fantasizing about having special powers like hers. I had the long, flowing black hair, and I recall making wrist bands out of gold gift wrap which I wore a few times during long, wonderful hours of play with my sisters and neighborhood playmates. I think I even wanted a Wonder Woman costume one year for Halloween, but my oddly-shaped preteen body wouldn't allow it.

Now, as an adult I still love the idea of super powers! I encourage this kind of creative thinking with my students, and I look for books (like Super Cilantro Girl) where kids become super heroes.

So, what a sorpresa to learn that Wonder Woman was/is a Latina! Is that why I connected with her? I invite you to visit Literanista's blog, then follow her to another cool blog - Mulatto Diaries - and enjoy "No Wonder I Loved Wonder Woman".

By the way, I fancy myself Book Woman... more on that later. Stay tuned.

Bilingual Book Review - Super Cilantro Girl

Stop on over to Latin Baby Book Club for my review of Super Cilantro Girl – La Superniña del cilantro. It's a story about the fears of 1st generation children and overcoming obstacles.

I use this book in my 4th grade bilingual classroom as a springboard for lessons about immigration, discussions about being separated from loved ones, and to inspire creative writing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor: We'll get it right

I let out a loud YES! this morning while checking my email. I had just received a New York Time News Alert announcing Obama's pick for Supreme Court Justice. The nominee - Sonia Sotomayor - could be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. This is another historic day.

I announced the news to my 4th graders and asked them to come up with questions about Ms. Sotomayor. We'll do some researching and reporting this week. Personally, I am inspired by what I have learned so far.

I had heard Ms. Sotomayor's name mentioned several times in the past few weeks; each time, it was pronounced differently. A colleague of mine suggested we brace ourselves for even more name-butchering in the days ahead. It's inevitable.

But I plan to help. Please repeat:

Sew - toe - mah - your
So - toe - ma - yore

Again. Otra vez.

Sotomayor. Another door opens...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gentle

She called out twice, no answer and
suddenly annoyed at the lack of consideration
wondered what
the gardener was up to as she
stomped over to the window,
which framed a sight
seen every year around this time...

the top of his silver streaked head
below her on the back step,
his tired back bent over
pots of purple pansies
delicate pink violets
and hearty geraniums
whispering, encouraging
them to grow lasting and lovely
so she'd not complain.

His little friends glanced up, seeing her
and perked up
for him.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

10 days left - Latino Books Month!

Don't forget to participate in this month's giveaway of five FREE Latino Books. Please go to my May 7 post and leave a comment, or two, or three! Be sure to leave some sort of link or email address so I can reach you. The drawing will be held on May 31st.

And to those of you who have already participated, MIL GRACIAS!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Latino Books Month Giveaway!

May is Latino Book Month. Join me as I celebrate with a great book giveaway!

Enter to win all 5 of these books (yes, all 5!):

B as in Beauty By Alberto Ferreras
Into the Beautiful North By Luis Urrea
Hungry Woman in Paris By Josefina Lopez
The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos By Margaret Mascarenhas
Houston, We Have a Problema By Gwendolyn Zepeda

Contest rules:
Briefly answer one or more of the following questions and leave your replies to this post during the month of May. You may comment more than once, answering a different question each time, for a total of three entries.
  1. What Latino author and/or book sticks out in your mind? Why?
  2. If you've never read a Latino-authored book, would you like to? Why?
  3. What kinds of books do you read? What genre do you lean toward? Why?
Entries will be placed en una fuente grande (a large bowl) and will be seleccionados al azar (will be chosen at random) on May 31st. Winners will be announced on my June 1st post. Five lucky readers will win!

Thank you Hachette Book Group! And thank you to Literanista for this great opportunity!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Latino Books Month

While perusing some of my favorite blogs, I learned that May is Latino Books Month. The AAP (Association of American Publishers) offers resources, like book lists and book club ideas, at their site.

I plan to do a "kickoff" for Latino Books Month with my students and colleagues tomorrow. I know that some of my coworkers will want to do something special to promote Latino authors for the rest of the month. I have an entire section of bilingual and Hispanic authored books in my classroom library which I'll invite folks to borrow from.

Our school library is quite lacking in this aspect. I'll have to nudge the librarian con cariño to purchase more books in Spanish, more bilingual, and more Latino authors for next year. When children see themselves in the books they read, they are more inclined to find joy in reading. The school where I teach is 90% Hispanic; our school library should reflect the children it serves.

I am currently reading Hungry Woman in Paris by Josefina Lopez. The cover attracted my attention, and the story, so far, is great. Next, I'll be reading B as in Beauty by Alberto Ferreras, which one of my favorite bloggers was kind enough to send to me. Thanks Literanista!