Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hidden Gems: “Gathering the Sun,” by Alma Flor Ada, illustrated by Simón Silva

Feliz Martes everyone! 
It’s another Tuesday at La Casa Azul Bookstore and with daylight savings time having just recently passed we are starting to look forward to spring. What better way to wait for the spring and warmer weather than by reading about the planting and gathering of the cosecha or harvest from the earth? In this week’s book “Gathering the Sun,” by Alma Flor Ada, illustrated by Simón Silva we do just that.

Like most people that either work with or have children, I am always on the lookout to find books that can teach them the alphabet in a new way. In “Gathering the Sun” we are able to introduce to children the alphabet in both Spanish and English while they also learn about farming and the people that make it possible for us to have fresh fruits and vegetables to eat. Each page begins with a letter and a word in Spanish that represents the letter, followed by a short poetic passage describing the significance of the word, placed alongside its English translation. 

One of my favorite passages is that of “Estrellas o Flores/ Stars or Flowers” where the beauty of both are compared. Often when this is done something is lost in the translation, however this is not the case in “Gathering the Sun.” The illustrations by Simón Silva bring an additional layer to the book, with bold strokes and a warmth of color that makes one feel like they are on the farmland, bathing in the radiance of the sun. Overall the book is a perfect read for those of us starved for the warmth and promise of the spring while also providing ample material for educational discussions and learning.

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

- Galia Sandy, Schools Program Coordinator

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