A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Perfect Book for Making a Splash!

One of my favorite things about being a children's librarian is when I get a batch of brand new books that will be perfect to use in bilingual storytime. Today, just such a book arrived - I Know the River Loves Me / Yo sé que el río me ama by Maya Christina Gonzalez.

Maya Christina Gonzalez is both the author and illustrator of this book, as she also was for My Colors, My World / Mis colores, mi mundo.  This title features the same young Maya exploring the beauty of the world around her.  Like Maya, the river is low and quiet in the winter, and full and loud in the summer.  The river jumps and sings when she sees Maya, runs to her side to cool her down, and is always there calling to her as she gets close.  Maya returns her love to the river by being sure to "only leave behind what already belongs to her."

In addition to the beautiful bilingual text which flows like a river and is the perfect length for bilingual storytime, Maya Christina Gonzalez' illustrations are striking.  I must admit, in addition to Yuyi Morales, Gonzalez is one of my favorite illustrators.  Her style in this book is unique, with paisley-esque blossoms and leaves on the banks of the cool, flowing water.

An author's note at the end explains that the Yuba River in California is an important inspiration for this story.  It is published by Children's Book Press, which publishes a variety of excellent books that bring more diversity into the world of children's literature.

This year, our summer reading theme is "Make a Splash - Read!"  I cannot wait to use this book in a storytime celebrating water and kicking off summer reading, pairing it up with ¡Salpicar! / Splash! by Flora McDonnell.


Maya Christina Gonzalez said...

Thank you so much for your sweet words Katie! This is one of my favorite books, because the story was told to me by the river! I was sitting by her side and I could hear her telling me this in my imagination. When I visit her this summer I will make sure to tell her that the librarian and the kids in Kentucky are listening to her tale. Sounds like you might be a river-girl like me! Take very good care. maya

Katie said...

It's so cool that you found this, Maya! Your previous book is always one we read whenever we do a "Colors" storytime. When I first saw it, I knew it would be a hit with the little girls (which of course, it is), but I have been pleasantly surprised to see that little boys love it too...especially the making mud pies! You are definitely an important voice and visual force in children's literature. Thank you for creating such fantastic works that positively represent Latino children. I look forward to seeing what you come out with next! And yes, I am definitely a river (and forest, and mountain, and so on...) girl!