Our Summer Reading Program on Univision’s Despierta América


Anchor Satcha Pretto and Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D. Courtesy: Univision’s Despierta América

Familia, we are so excited to be on Univision’s top-rated national morning show Despierta América! I reported on an important issue facing our students–the so-called “summer slide” and how you can prevent it by reading and joining our free 2015 L4LL Latino Children’s Summer Reading ProgramClick here to watch the interview with Despierta América anchor Satcha Pretto.

¡Qué emoción cuando el top programa nacional matutino Despierta América en Univision nos entrevistó! Reporté sobre un problema agudo para nuestros estudiantes–la pérdida del verano–y cómo se puede contrarrestar leyendo e inscribiéndose a nuestro L4LL Programa de lectura de verano para jóvenes latinos. Haga click aquí para ver nuestra entrevista en Despierta América con la presentadora Satcha Pretto.

Literacy Craft Tutorial: Poetry-Inspired Felt Craft

Poem-Inspired Felt Craft

Poem-Inspired Felt Craft

The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Denise Cortes who publishes the site, Pearmama.com.

As a homeschooling mother, I’ve had the privilege of teaching six children how to read. Phonics, flash cards, picture books, audio tracks, reading apps–you name it, we used it. Teaching my kids to read wasn’t always an easy task. There were moments when I grew weary, and wondered when they would finally “get the code.” Some of my children learned quickly and were on their way to reading chapter books at a young age. On the other end of the spectrum, I had a two children who didn’t learn to read until they were well past the “acceptable” reading age.

Instead of worrying and putting unnecessary stress on my challenged readers, I got creative. One of the ways I encouraged confidence in their reading skills was through poetry and enrichment projects. For us, this meant simple craft projects. My daughter memorized several poems. And along the way, we created fun enrichment activities tailored to each poem, such as this felt craft pictured above. It was inspired by the following poem – one of our favorites.

“The Caterpillar” by Christina Rosetti

Brown and furry
caterpillar in a hurry
take your walk
to the shady leaf or stalk.
May no toad spy you,
may the little birds pass by you.
Spin and die,
to live again a butterfly.

Let’s get crafting!


What you’ll need to make this fun craft:

  • felt squares (several colors)
  • 9×12 felt square for background
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • needle and thread

Caterpillar Poem Felt Craft

I decided to stick with more natural colors, since the caterpillar is “brown and furry.” Reserve one of the 9 x 12 felt squares as the background for the caterpillar. Begin cutting the felt into the caterpillar shapes, reserving 20 pieces for the caterpillar body, one piece for the head, two eyes, two for the inner eyes, one round nose, two antennae, four legs, a leaf, leaf spine and stem for a total of 35 felt pieces. Of course, if you want to make your caterpillar smaller, make adjustments accordingly.

Caterpillar Poem Felt Craft

After the shapes are cut, lay them out and decide on the overall design.

Caterpillar Poem Felt Craft

We decided we wanted the caterpillar on a “shady leaf.”

Caterpillar Poem Felt Craft

Use a hot glue gun to glue the felt pieces down. Be sure to help your child when using the glue gun. As a safer alternative, use fabric glue. For a fun accent, let your child use needle and thread around their caterpillar design.

Caterpillar Poem Felt Craft

This poem-inspired craft is a great way to enrich your child’s reading experience through hands-on learning.


denise-cortesDenise Cortes is a writer/blogger and an artist when she isn’t tending to her family and teaching art. Denise is the content creator at Pearmama.com, a blog about a Latina mom raising six kids and living a creative life. A native of Southern California, Denise has been blogging since 2006, when her husband suggested she continue her life-long practice of journal writing about life and family. Since then, she’s been sharing fun DIY craft projects, Latino culture, creating art on TOMS shoes and writing heartfelt parenting stories about her children, ages 8 to 16. Denise is also a regular contributor at BabyCenter and Latinamom.me. You can also follow her on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.


Latino Children’s Literature on Google Play

20 Latino Books for Kids on Google Play

With more and more families accessing literature on tech devices such as tablets, eReaders, and even smartphones, we decided now was a great time to share some Latino eBooks for kids. Our friends and underwriters at Google have a growing collection of Latino children’s literature in eBook format available for download via the Google Play store. We hope you enjoy these titles as much as we do and continue to explore their online store for additional titles. The more you purchase these types of books, the more you show them that these titles are in demand and the more eBooks written by and about Latinos they’ll offer!

Video of the Week: Guadalupe Rivera Marín

Video of the Week: Art

Video of the Week: Art

*This post contains affiliates links.

This week’s DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is ART. One of the Hispanic artists explored in our printables is Diego Rivera. While there are many wonderful books written about the artist, we’ve chosen to share this short video of his daughter Guadalupe Rivera Marín talking about her bilingual picture book My Papa Diego and Me / Mi papá Diego y yoIn it she shares personal memories of her father.

Literacy Craft Tutorial: ‘Frida’ Shrink Plastic Bookmark

'Frida' Shrink Plastic Bookmark


This week, the L4LL DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is ART. The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Kathy Cano-Murillo who publishes the site, CraftyChica.com.


Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is always a source of inspiration. Here’s a way to add her spirit to your books with the help of shrink plastic and markers.


  • Frosted shrink plastic (found at the craft store)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Thin black permanent marker
  • Assorted colored markers
  • Embossing gun or toaster oven


DIY Frida Bookmark Steps 1-4

  1. Print out an image of Frida, keeping in mind that it will shrink 60%. I started with a piece of shrink plastic that was about 3” x 7” long.

  2. Frosted side up, set the shrink plastic on top of the image. Use a pencil to draw the image, tracing over her face, eyes, hair, neck and nose.

  3. Now go over the pencil marks with the black liner pen, this is your chance to fix any mistakes in the tracing process. Erase any pencil lines.

DIY Frida Bookmark Steps 4-7

  1. Use the colored markers to fill in all the areas. Bring her to life with color!

  2. Cut out around the shape and punch a hole at the top.

  3. Have an adult do this part: On a silicone mat, run the heat gun over the plastic until it curls and flattens out. You can also use a toaster oven and heat according to the shrink plastic package directions.

  4. Add a ribbon through the top of the hole. You’re done!
    'Frida' Shrink Plastic Bookmark

10 Latino Books for Teens

10 Latino Books for Teens

I first discovered Latino literature when I was a teenager in high school taking a multicultural lit class. The experience was life changing for me. Since then so many more books by and about Latinos have been written and published for young adults. Here are just a few of our favorite Latino literature titles for teens. What titles would you add to our list?

Psst! Any of these would be ideal reads for our YA Challenge!

(All the links below are affiliate links. When you click on one and make a purchase, we receive a small commission, which helps with the running of this website.)

My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults
by Pat Mora

a major selection of new and previously published poems chosen by Pat Mora herself with young-adult readers in mind. Using the cactus plant as her guiding metaphor for our existence, she presents more than sixty poems grouped variously into “Blooms,” “Thorns,” and “Roots.” Each section opens with a graceful line drawing from artist Anthony Accardo, and the whole is prefaced by a whimsical and intimate introduction, “Dear Fellow Writter.”

Names on a Map: A Novel
by Benjamin Alire Saenz

The Espejo family of El Paso, Texas, is like so many others in America in 1967, trying to make sense of a rapidly escalating war they feel does not concern them. But when the eldest son, Gustavo, a complex and errant rebel, receives a certified letter ordering him to report to basic training, he chooses to flee instead to Mexico. Retreating back to the land of his grandfather—a foreign country to which he is no longer culturally connected—Gustavo sets into motion a series of events that will have catastrophic consequences on the fragile bonds holding the family together.

My Name is Cool: 18 Stories from a Cuban-Irish-American Storyteller
by Antonio Sacre

Born in Boston to a Cuban father and an Irish-American mother, Antonio Sacre is one of the fewleprecanos on the national speaking circuit. Using his own personal history and telling the stories that audiences across the nation have found so captivating and wonderful, this  award-winning storyteller and author  weaves the Spanish language, Cuban and Mexican customs, and Irish humor into an unforgettable book of humor, inspiration, tradition, and family.

by Skila Brown

Carlos knows that when the soldiers arrive with warnings about the Communist rebels, it is time to be a man and defend the village, keep everyone safe. But Mama tells him not yet — he’s still her quiet moonfaced boy. The soldiers laugh at the villagers, and before they move on, a neighbor is found dangling from a tree, a sign on his neck: Communist. Mama tells Carlos to run and hide, then try to find her. . . . Numb and alone, he must join a band of guerillas as they trek to the top of the mountain where Carlos’s abuela lives. Will he be in time, and brave enough, to warn them about the soldiers? What will he do then? A novel in verse inspired by actual events during Guatemala’s civil war, Caminar is the moving story of a boy who loses nearly everything before discovering who he really is.

The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind
by Meg Medina

Sixteen-year-old Sonia Ocampo was born on the night of the worst storm Tres Montes had ever seen. And when the winds mercifully stopped, an unshakable belief in the girl’s protective powers began. All her life, Sonia has been asked to pray for sick mothers or missing sons, as worried parents and friends press silver milagros in her hands. Sonia knows she has no special powers, but how can she disappoint those who look to her for solace? Still, her conscience is heavy, so when she gets a chance to travel to the city and work in the home of a wealthy woman, she seizes it. At first, Sonia feels freedom in being treated like all the other girls. But when news arrives that her beloved brother has disappeared while looking for work, she learns to her sorrow that she can never truly leave the past or her family behind.

Under the Mesquite
by Guadalupe Garcia Mccall

Lupita, a budding actor and poet in a close-knit Mexican American immigrant family, comes of age as she struggles with adult responsibilities during her mother’s battle with cancer in this young adult novel in verse.

When Lupita learns Mami has cancer, she is terrified by the possibility of losing her mother, the anchor of her close-knit family. Suddenly, being a high school student, starring in a play, and dealing with friends who don’t always understand, become less important than doing whatever she can to save Mami’s life.

While her father cares for Mami at an out-of-town clinic, Lupita takes charge of her seven younger siblings. As Lupita struggles to keep the family afloat, she takes refuge in the shade of a mesquite tree, where she escapes the chaos at home to write. Forced to face her limitations in the midst of overwhelming changes and losses, Lupita rediscovers her voice and finds healing in the power of words.

Esperanza Rising
by Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child
by Francisco Jiménez

“The Circuit,” the story of young Panchito and his trumpet, is one of the most widely anthologized stories in Chicano literature. At long last, Jimenez offers more about the wise, sensitive little boy who has grown into a role model for subsequent generations of immigrants.

These independent but intertwined stories follow the family through their circuit, from picking cotton and strawberries to topping carrots–and back agai–over a number of years. As it moves from one labor camp to the next, the little family of four grows into ten. Impermanence and poverty define their lives. But with faith, hope, and back-breaking work, the family endures.

Baseball in April and Other Stories
by Gary Soto

The Mexican American author Gary Soto draws on his own experience of growing up in California’s Central Valley in this finely crafted collection of eleven short stories that reveal big themes in the small events of daily life. Crooked teeth, ponytailed girls, embarrassing grandfathers, imposter Barbies, annoying brothers, Little League tryouts, and karate lessons weave the colorful fabric of Soto’s world. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us.

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal 
by Margarita Engle

One hundred years ago, the world celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal, which connected the world’s two largest oceans and signaled America’s emergence as a global superpower. It was a miracle, this path of water where a mountain had stood—and creating a miracle is no easy thing. Thousands lost their lives, and those who survived worked under the harshest conditions for only a few silver coins a day.

From the young “silver people” whose back-breaking labor built the Canal to the denizens of the endangered rainforest itself, this is the story of one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, as only Newbery Honor-winning author Margarita Engle could tell it.

Video of the Week: Rafael López


*This post contains affiliates links.

This week’s DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is MUSIC. An intrinsic part of our culture, many Latino musicians have had a powerful impact on world music. Two of those – Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo and My Name is Celia/Me llamo Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/la vida de Celia Cruz (aff)  have been featured in children’s books illustrated by artist Rafael López. His distinctive illustrations perfectly depict the movement, emotion, and vibrancy of the musicians and their music. So this week’s video features some of his children’s book illustrations and the community murals he creates with children.

Literacy Craft Tutorial: DIY Musical Magazine Holder


This week, the L4LL DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is MUSIC/MUSICA. The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Dariela Cruz who publishes the site, MamiTalks.com.

Magazine holders are so useful. I never think of them for the kids’ room, but even if the kids don’t have any magazines, they always have coloring books, reading workbooks, math workbooks, or notebooks that can definitely be organized better inside a magazine rack.

This magazine rack is made out of a cereal box, some scrapbooking paper and stickers. It is very easy to make and the kids can help, too. This one has a musical theme and can be very useful for storing sheet music and/or music notebooks. There are many wonderful designs of scrapbooking paper available for each kid’s preference. Guide them through this craft and they will love making something useful for their own room!


  • A cereal box wide enough to fit a magazine
  • 2 sheets of scrapbooking paper
  • Decoupage glue (matte or glossy is ok)
  • A brush to apply the glue
  • Scissors and/or a craft knife
  • A ruler
  • A permanent marker
  • Musical stickers


Grab the empty cereal box and place a magazine on top of it.

Make marks with the permanent marker on one side of the box a little bit higher than the magazine height, and on the other side make a mark a little bit lower than the half of the magazine’s total  height.


Draw a line joining both marks then continue on the other side with the help of a ruler.

With scissors (or craft knife) carefully cut the box along the marked lines.


The structure of the magazine holder is done. Now to decorate it!

Use the first scrapbooking paper and lay the box on top of it. This paper will cover only two sides of the box. With a pencil, mark the paper leaving space for flaps on every side and the top and bottom. They don’t need to be precise, just make sure you have them all, then cut along your marks with scissors.

Once the paper is cut, apply the glue with a brush to one entire side.

Glue the paper around the 2 sides of the box.

Mark, cut, and glue the second scrapbooking paper the same way as the first, but don’t leave flaps on two sides so that the border of the paper is exactly aligned with the border of the box.

Once the whole magazine holder is wrapped with paper apply the decoupage glue all over it and let it dry for a couple of hours.

Cut a small rectangle of scrapbooking paper and place it on the inside of the back of the magazine holder. This part will show even when the magazines are inside it.

Now it’s time for the fun part! Let the kids use the stickers and have fun decorating the magazine holder! Use them on the thin sides of the box, which are the ones that will show most often when it’s in use.








Dariela is a Venezuelan mom and graphic designer currently living in San Diego, CA. She blogs at Mami Talks, where she shares the day-to-day as a mom of her 6 year-old son Adrian and 3 year-old daughter Maya. In her blog you can always find fresh ideas, crafts and inspirations filled with lots of photography. She is passionate about family, culture and anything art related. Connect with Dariela on twitter:  @darielacruz, Facebook, Google+ or her Design Blog.

L4LL’s 2014 Young Adult Challenge

2014 YA Challenge

One of the goals of the L4LL Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program is to use technology in a way to boost literacy skills among our youth and prepare them for college. That’s why we created the Young Adult Challenge, which combines technology with Latino literature.

Kids ages 9 to 18 are still challenged to read 8 books this summer, BUT we want them to also present a video book report on a piece of Latino (children’s) literature that they’ve read. This book may be one of the 8 books they’ve read for the program, and may or may not be found on our reading list for young adults. The video should be two minutes or less and simply tell us about the book and whether or not your child recommends it to other kids.

The families of participants in this age range who submit a list of the 8 books they’ve read over the summer, as well as a video book report about a piece of Latino (children’s) lit that they’ve read, will be entered to win one of 20 Samsung Chromebooks and Google Play gift cards donated by our underwriter, Google.

The video book report will be archived in the L4LL YouTube channel. Click here for a complete description of the YA Challenge Rules and to download your parental consent form.

Below is an awesome example from last year by then 9-year-old Marianna. If you’d like to see the other videos submitted by kids ages 9  to 18, check out our Book Reports Playlist on our YouTube channel.

Latino Children’s Titles…for BOYS


Latino boys are at greatest risk when it comes to literacy achievement. How do we engage them and raise them to be avid readers? One way is through books that interest them or that reflect their reality. Below is a list of books for boys of all ages.

(All the links below are affiliate links. When you click on one and make a purchase, we receive a small commission, which helps with the running of this website.)

The Dreamer
by Pam Munoz Ryan
From the time he is a young boy, Neftalí hears the call of a mysterious voice. Even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself, Neftalí knows he cannot ignore the call. Under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, he listens and he follows.

Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin
by Duncan Tonatiuh
The story of two cousins, one in America and one in Mexico, and how their daily lives are different yet similar. Charlie takes the subway to school; Carlitos rides his bike. Charlie plays in fallen leaves; Carlitos plays among the local cacti. Dear Primocovers the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of two very different childhoods, while also emphasizing how alike Charlie and Carlitos are at heart.

Diego: Bigger Than Life 
by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand’s inspiring free verse and David Diaz’s vivid paintings capture the defining moments and emotions of Rivera’s tumultuous life, including his stormy relationship with artist Frida Kahlo and his passion for his art. Rivera’s energy, physique, love for women, and work were all “bigger than life.”

Reaching Out 
by Francisco Jiménez
During his college years, the very family solidarity that allowed Francisco to survive as a child is tested. Not only must he leave his family behind when he goes to Santa Clara University, but while Francisco is there, his father abandons the family and returns to Mexico. This is the story of how Francisco coped with poverty, with his guilt over leaving his family financially strapped, with his self-doubt about succeeding academically, and with separation.

Papa and Me
by Arthur Dorros
A young boy and his papa may speak both Spanish and English, but the most important language they speak is the language of love. In this beautiful bilingual picture book, Arthur Dorros portrays the close bond between father and son, with lush paintings by Rudy Gutierrez.

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan 
by Margarita Engle
Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty.

My Name is Gabito / Me llamo Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
by Monica Brown
Can you imagine a shipwrecked sailor living on air and seaweed for eight days? Can you imagine a trail of yellow butterflies fluttering their wings to songs of love? Once, there was a little boy named Gabito who could. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is perhaps one of the most brilliant writers of our time. He is a tremendous figure, enormously talented, and unabashedly admired. This is his story, lovingly told, for children to enjoy.

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez 
by Kathleen Krull
Cesar Chavez is known as one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders. When he led a 340-mile peaceful protest march through California, he ignited a cause and improved the lives of thousands of migrant farmworkers. But Cesar wasn’t always a leader. As a boy, he was shy and teased at school. His family slaved in the fields for barely enough money to survive.
Cesar knew things had to change, and he thought that–maybe–he could help change them. So he took charge. He spoke up. And an entire country listened.

The Pot That Juan Built
By Nancy Andrews-Goebel
Quezada creates stunning pots in the traditional style of the Casas Grandes people, including using human hair to make brushes and cow dung to feed the fire. This real-life story is written in the form of “The House That Jack Built,” and relays how Juan’s pioneering work has changed a poor village into a prosperous community of world-class artists.

First Day in Grapes
By L. King Perez
All year long, Chico’s family moves up and down the state of California to pick fruits and vegetables. Every September, Chico starts at a new school. Often, the other kids pick on him — maybe because he’s always new, or maybe because he speaks Spanish sometimes. But third grade promises to be different. He likes his teacher, and she recognizes his excellent abilities in math — he may even get to go to the math fair! When some fourth-grade bullies tease him, he surprises them with strengths of his own.


Spirits of the High Mesa
By Floyd Martinez
In this moving coming-of-age novel set in rural New Mexico, the young protagonist, Flavio, is torn between the seductiveness of progress and new technology and his loyalty to village traditions so steadfastly preserved by his grandfather, El Grande.

Baseball in April and Other Stories
By Gary Soto
The Mexican American author Gary Soto draws on his own experience of growing up in California’s Central Valley in this finely crafted collection of eleven short stories that reveal big themes in the small events of daily life. Crooked teeth, ponytailed girls, embarrassing grandfathers, imposter Barbies, annoying brothers, Little League tryouts, and karate lessons weave the colorful fabric of Soto’s world. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us.

Lucha Libre: The Man in the Silver Mask
by Xavier Garza
In Xavier Garza’s bilingual kids’ book, young Carlitos attends his first lucha librematch in Mexico City. At ringside, Carlitos sees the famous luchador—the Man in the Silver Mask, a man whose eyes look terribly familiar. The masked wrestlereven smiles at Carlitos! He is mesmerized as the Man in the Silver Mask is pitted against the terrible forces of evil—los rudos, the bad guys of lucha libre. They make the audience boo and hiss! In the end, though, the Man in the Silver Mask triumphs and, in the process, gains a lifelong fan.

A Movie in My Pillow/Una pelicula en mi almohada
by Jorge Argueta
A young boy with two homelands and a delightful sense of wonder comes to life in Jorge Argueta’s first collection of poems for children. Young Jorgito lives in San Francisco’s Mission District, but he hasn’t forgotten his native El Salvador. He recalls the volcanoes, the tasty cornmeal pupusas, and his grandmother’s stories. As he changes from timid newcomer to seasoned city dweller, Jorgito’s memories and new adventures form a patchwork of dreams — the movie in his pillow — that is perfectly suited to his new bicultural identity.

The Gold Coin
By Alma Flor Ada
Juan has been a thief for many, many years. So many, in fact, that he can’t even remember what it’s like to be anything else.
When he tries to steal Doña Josefa’s gold, something strange begins to happen to Juan. His skin becomes tan instead of pale, his body straight instead of bent, and his mouth smiles instead of scowls. Juan also begins to remember things. He remembers eating good, home-cooked food, being among friends, and laughing.
When the opportunity arrives for him to take Doña Josefa’s gold, another strange thing happens. Juan realizes he can’t. Maybe he isn’t a thief anymore. Set against a Central American background, this is a story of love and faith in the human spirit.

La Mariposa
by Francisco Jimenez
In his first year of school, Francisco understands little of what his teacher says. But he is drawn to the silent, slow-moving caterpillar in the jar next to his desk. He knows caterpillars turn into butterflies, but just how do they do it? To find out, he studies the words in a butterfly book so many times that he can close his eyes and see the black letters, but he still can’t understand their meaning. Illustrated with paintings as deep and rich as the wings of a butterfly, this honest, unsentimental account of a schoolchild’s struggle to learn language reveals that our imaginations powerfully sustain us.

Pele, King of Soccer/Pele, El rey del futbol
by Monica Brown
Turn the pages of this book to read the true life story of Pelé, King of Soccer, the first man in the history of the sport to score a thousand goals and become a living legend.

Calling the Doves/El canto de las palomas
By Juan Felipe Herrera
Now available in paperback, poet Juan Felipe Herrera s bilingual memoir paints a vivid picture of his migrant farmworker childhood. His rich, evocative prose re-creates the joy of eating under the open sky, celebrating at a fiesta with other farm families, and listening to his mother singing Mexican songs and his father calling the doves.

The Upside Down Boy/El nino de cabeza
by Juan Felipe Herrera
Fresh from the country, Juanito is bewildered by his new school. Everything he does feels upside down: he eats lunch when it’s recess and goes out to play when it’s time for lunch, and his tongue feels like a rock when he tries to speak English. But a sensitive teacher and his loving family help Juanito find his voice through poetry, art, and music.

Best Mariachi In The World:El mejor mariachi del mundo 
by J. D. Smith
Everyone in Gustavo s family is in a mariachi band. Everyone except Gustavo, that is. They all play violins, trompetas and guitarrones. They all make wonderful music in restaurants and at wedding parties. Gustavo would love to join the band, but he can’t play any of the instruments. What’s a wannabe mariachi to do?