Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hidden Gems at La Casa Azul Bookstore 2/25/2014

Welcome back to our weekly edition of Hidden Gems!

This week’s book is Tomás and the Library Lady by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raul Colón.
This is one of my favorite books, I recommend it to parents and teachers every change I get!

One small gesture can change a child forever. Tomás is a young boy who travels with his family from Texas to Iowa every year to pick fruits and vegetables as migrant workers. While his parents work, Tomás, encouraged by his grandfather, decides to visit the library in town one day. Awed by its vastness he stands outside until the librarian invites him in, welcoming him and in doing so opens a whole new world for Tomás. In the pages of the books from the library he learns of different stories, new worlds and above all develops a love of books that will live in him for the rest of his life. Through this story Pat Mora not only shows the importance of books in a child’s life but also emphasizes the important role libraries play for those who might otherwise be limited in their access to books. This book is a great gift for both your voracious reader who can’t get enough of books and for your reluctant reader who will hear the story and be enticed to learn why books are so amazing.

Think this is a great book? Make sure to keep an eye for it and other great finds in our children’s section.

Have a great week! 
- Galia, School Programs Coordinator

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hidden Gems at La Casa Azul Bookstore 2/18/2014

Happy Tuesday everyone!
In celebration of Julia Burgos centennial birthday, this week’s book is The Poet Upstairs by Judith Ortiz Cofer, illustrated by Oscar Ortiz.

What happens when you get sick and are stuck in bed? For a little girl named Juliana, it is the beginning of an encounter that transforms her world. Missing her first day of school due to a fever, Juliana watches as a new woman moves into the apartment upstairs. She wonders who it is and discovers the woman is a poet. Through her dreams Juliana slowly imagines places far away and learns with the help of the poet how to use words to help transport her and others to these beautiful landscapes. The illustrations by Oscar Ortiz capture a quality in these scenes, paintings reflecting a dream-like state adding to the already rich descriptive narrative. In “The Poet Upstairs” Judith Ortiz Cofer not only has written a story that shows children the power of words but also helps them use their imagination, all the while highlighting the impact positive role modeling interactions with adults can have on children. While the poet in this story leaves eventually, we the readers as well as Juliana are left with a tapestry of images and words that open the endless possibilities of adventures and landscapes yet to be visited.

Think this is a great book? 
Make sure to keep an eye for it and other great finds in our children’s section.

Learn more about Julia de Burgos here.

- Galia, School Programs Coordinator 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hidden Gems at La Casa Azul Bookstore 2/11/2014

Happy Tuesday everyone!

This week’s book is Praise Song for the Day by Elizabeth Alexander, illustrated by David Diaz – a beautiful, hidden gem!

In troubling times, it can be difficult to have a positive outlook on life. 
Originally commissioned as a poem for the inauguration of President Obama, Alexander weaves a lyrical text that not only recognizes what is sacrificed to make life great but also heralds an optimistic and uplifting message for tomorrow. David Diaz adds to the message through masterful artwork fused with radiant colors which conveys a sense of hopefulness. The result of this collaboration is a book which should definitely be on anyone’s to-read list. It will leave all those who read it feeling inspired and anticipating what tomorrow will bring.

Think this is a great book? Make sure to keep an eye for it and other great finds in the children’s section at La Casa Azul Bookstore!

- Galia, School Programs Coordinator

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pura Belpre: celebrating a storyteller's legacy at La Casa Azul Bookstore

You are invited to the Pura Belpré celebration!
Thursday, February 6 - Saturday, February 8, 2014

Join us as we celebrate Pura Belpré, the woman and her legacy.  
Pura Belpré advocated for bilingual literacy as well as created diverse programming centered around  Latino culture, and was the first Puerto Rican librarian to work for the New York Public Library system.

Day 1: Workshop for educators
Thursday, February 6, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
We will learn about Pura Belpré's life and work, and about the Pura Belpré award.
A discussion on the current trends in bilingual literacy and how to further our implementation in school programming will be lead by bookstore staff and Marilisa Jimenez-Garcia, Ph.D., Research Associate, Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College.
Pura Belpré award winning books will be available.  
Educators with a valid school ID will receive 20% off all book purchases.  
Regiser by emailing: schools.lacasaazul@gmail.com

Day 2: Movie screening
Pura Belpré: Storyteller
Friday February 7, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
The documentary captures the spirit and essence of Pura Belpré, storyteller, pioneer librarian and author of Puerto Rican folktales for children.
Screening and Q&A; light refreshments provided

Day 3: Pura Belpré Family Day!
Saturday, February 8, 11:00am - 1:00pm
Celebrate Pura Belpré through what she was known best for: storytelling!
Join us as we share in story time as well as children's activities such as puppet-making and book-making. Through these activities we will pay homage to Pura Belpré's legacy and pass the torch to the next generation.

An temporary exhibit "Pura Belpré in her own words", will be on display at La Casa Azul Bookstore from Wednesday February 5 - Sunday, February 9, as part of the celebration.  
This exhibit chronicles Pura's professional life, the captions and quotations in this exhibit are from her words as they appear in her papers and interviews. The exhibit is in partnership with the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hidden Gems at La Casa Azul Bookstore 2/4/2014

Happy Tuesday everyone! 
We are kicking off another week at La Casa Azul Bookstore with a review of a great children’s book. 

This week’s book is Grandmother, Have the Angels Come? by Denise Vega, illustrated by Erin Eitter Kono.

“Grandmother, have the angels come…” So begins this heartwarming story dealing with the bond between that of a grandparent and grandchild. With a whimsical and musical tone, the grandmother of this story answers the many questions her granddaughter asks about aging and whether she will always be by her granddaughter’s side. The reader as well as the granddaughter feel the warmth of the responses by the grandmother which not only explain aging but also reassures the granddaughter that their love will keep them united forevermore. The beauty of the writing in this story is only surpassed by the brightly colored and brilliant illustrations all of which combined evoke the feeling of being wrapped around in the safety and warmth of a grandmother’s embrace. This story is perfect both for children and for adults who share in memories of grandparents or other elders we hold dear.

Think this is a great book? Make sure to keep an eye for it and other great finds in our children’s section.

A reminder that this book, and all of the Hidden Gems can be found at La Casa Azul Bookstore

- Galia, School Programs Coordinator