Life can change suddenly and without warning. I know because it happened to me. So begins Different: A Story of the Spanish Civil War, a book for upper middle grade and young adult readers based on author Mónica Montañés’ family history. Montañés’ father had resisted Francisco Franco’s forces in Spain when Franco attempted a military coup against … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Different: A Story About the Spanish Civil War
One of my repeated assertions is that picture books are much more than what they seem. They are more than just cute pictures and easy words to read to children before bedtime; they are in fact powerful works of art that can reveal deep truths to people of all ages. Picture books are for everyone. … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: That’s Not Normal!
When I moved to the contiguous United States at the age of 7 from Puerto Rico, I did not speak English. I still remember my first day in a second-grade classroom, where I was the only Hispanic student and no one spoke Spanish. I went up to the teacher and told her I had a … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Day Saida Arrived
What would you do if you found a baby caiman (a type of alligator)? Would you slip it into your shirt pocket? Unlikely as it seems, that’s what Faoro, a jeweler and watchmaker, did many years ago. The Caiman*, a picture book for ages 5-8, is his story—a real one. Faoro loved animals and let them wander … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Caiman
Terra Nova: An Anthology of Contemporary Spanish Science Fiction, edited by Mariano Villareal co-selected by Mariano Villareal and Luis Pestarini translated from the Spanish by Sue Burke and Lawrence Schimel Sportula June 15, 2013 258 pages Outstanding novella-length stories make up this important collection of contemporary Spanish-language science fiction. Thanks to translators Sue Burke and … Continue reading Speculative Fiction in Translation: Terra Nova
For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, it's currently winter, which is my favorite season. Yes, I may have been born in the Caribbean, but I feel more at ease when it is colder outside. I can wear cozy clothes, avoid the sun, and not contend with the oppressive humidity of the southern … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Winter Train
Today I am ceding editing rights to my friend and colleague Betsy Bird, an award winning children's author and librarian... Children’s books are written years in advance of their publication dates. A book being written at this very moment may take anywhere between two to five years to reach library and bookstore shelves. As such, … Continue reading Hope and Hardship: The Picture Book As Exile Narrative
During the past 6 months, I have edited a series of articles on “What We’re Missing: Gems of World Kid Lit.” Taking a page from the UK’s Times Literary Supplement, which styles itself as “the only major English-language publication to review books published in other languages,” I thought we could introduce the concept on this … Continue reading What We’re Missing: Gems of World Kid Lit