Publication Date: April 14, 2009
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Join a young boy as he explores his vibrant neighborhood. The city shimmers with life--at once a party, a waltz, and a heartbeat. El Barrio is his sister preparing for her quinceañera, his grandfather singing about the past, and his cousins' stories from other lands. The city is alive with the rhythms of the street.
Told in lyrical language and through bold, colorful illustrations, this celebration of Hispanic culture and urban life is sure to fire children's curiosity about where they live and what they can discover in their own neighborhoods.
DEBBI CHOCOLATE is the author of more than twenty picture books, including The Piano Man, which received the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award, and Talk, Talk: An Ashanti Legend, winner of the Parents' Choice Award. She lives outside Chicago with her family.
DAVID DIAZ has illustrated more than thirty books, including Smoky Night, for which he was awarded the Caldecott Medal, and Margaret Wise Brown's The Little Scarecrow Boy, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. He lives in Southern California.
*"The vibrant illustrations combine woodcuts, painting and collage, all seemingly jumbled together in a riotous blend of color and texture. Depictions of other Latino celebrations and sprinklings of Spanish words add to the beautiful chaos of the illustrations...Color, action and feeling are of utmost importance here and together create a dazzling, flamboyant impression of urban Latino life, bringing Diaz's work to a whole new level. A glossary gives phonetic pronunciations of Spanish words used in the text as well as defining those words. Highly recommended for all collections."
The poetic text and glowing illustrations praise a type of neighborhood that is often derogated or ignored...the spreads shimmer with color and movement... By calling upon these images as treasure, the book shows some young readers that their neighborhood, too, is both normal and special--and shows others what lies in the neighborhood next to theirs.
The whole is an exuberant cacophony of colors and sights, useful in classrooms and multicultural settings for how it expands the often simplistic view of what makes up a barrio.