Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Story Behind the Story: The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez by René Colato Laínez


When I lost my first tooth in El Salvador, a fantastic ratón (mouse) took it. He was the same ratón that took my mamá’s, papá’s and abuelito’s teeth. Every child knew him. He was El Ratón Pérez and in exchange for a healthy tooth, I always received a surprise. Sometimes, I received money and other times toys and even tickets to the circus! I always eagerly awaited the next visit from El Ratón Pérez.

As a boy, I moved to the US and wrote an essay about El Ratón Pérez. My teacher called me to her desk and asked me what I was trying to write. I told her all about El Ratón Pérez and she said, “Oh, you are writing about the Tooth Fairy.” She crossed all the Ratones Pérez and asked me to change then to Tooth Fairies. I could not envision El Ratón Pérez with wings and carrying a magic wand. Where was my beloved El Ratón Pérez?

Many years later, I became a teacher at Fernangeles Elementary School in Los Angeles. One afternoon, I heard the teacher next door running and screaming through the hallway, “Aaah, one of my students has a mouse in his bedroom! I need to go to the office and call social services.”

The teacher was ready to faint from the impression. I asked her what was happening and she told me that one of her students lost his first tooth and that a mouse came to his room last night and took it. But this was not the worst part. All the other students said they knew the mouse, too.

“The boy said he wants the mouse to visit his house every night!” the teacher said.

“I knew that mouse and as a child, I also waited for his visits.” I told the other teacher. “ He is El Ratón Pérez, the Hispanic tooth collector. Last night this famous and adventurous mouse visited your student because he lost his first tooth.” The teacher started to laugh and did not go to the office. Instead, she went to celebrate with her student.

After this incident, I wondered what would happen if the Tooth Fairy met El Ratón Pérez for the first time? What would they say to each other? Would they get along? Read and find out. My new book, The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez, will be released by Tricycle Press/Random House this week!

For more info and schedule of author events, visit: www.renecolatolainez.com

Early praise for the book:

“A marvelous story merging cultures seamlessly and with great humor.
Adults will enjoy this read-aloud just as much as kids.” --- Sandra Cisneros, award-winning author of The House on Mango Street

“When Mexican-American Miguelito loses a tooth, a twinkly Tooth Fairy and her Latin American counterpart, El Ratón Pérez (an intrepid, Spanish-speaking rat) both show up. Laínez's creative story approaches the topic of cultural identity with humor and grace, while newcomer Lintern's colored pencil illustrations give it a sense of nocturnal whimsy."--- Publishers Weekly

“Young readers may not consciously recognize this tale as a metaphor for growing up in two cultures, but the story does model how to successfully negotiate a bicultural life by celebrating both aspects of Miguelito's Mexican-American heritage. An excellent selection for libraries serving bicultural families."— School Library Journal

“Colato Lainez keeps the storytelling lively with bilingual exclamations seamlessly embedded in the dialogue between the two tooth-seekers…readers are treated to a clever introduction to two charming folk customs.”---Kirkus Reviews

Monday, March 22, 2010

Announcing Dear-Editor.com a writer's advice website

We're excited about the launch of Dear-Editor.com, a writers’ advice website where writers—-published or not—-can ask questions about the craft of writing or publishing in general and get direct answers and actionable suggestions.

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, for children or adults, this advice site gives personal guidance on the issues that challenge you most. Hosted by editor Deborah Halverson who has been working with authors for fifteen years, and is the awarding-winning author of two teen novels published by Delacorte/ Random House. With two novels and a decade as an editor with Harcourt Children’s Books under her belt, Deborah now works as a freelance editor, author, writing instructor, and founder of this new writers’ advice website.

Dear-Editor.com invites readers to look through archives, respond with comments or tips, or email questions directly to the Editor. This is sure to be a useful and interactive resource for writers--plus it is free, so it doesn't get much better than that!

More great news---the new website is giving away a FREE Substantive Edit of a YA or MG manuscript. Deadline: April 14, 2010. Enter and rules: www.Dear-Editor.com.

New from Jennifer Ward!

Jennifer Ward and illustrator Steve Gray are back with another delightful take on a favorite song this time starring a hungry monkey!


Early praise for There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog:

“Migrating to a rainforest setting, the creators of There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea present another wacky take on this tune. Gray's digitally rendered illustrations alternately reveal the feasting monkey and the (remarkably) cheerful captives inside his stomach. Text and art deliver equal measures of over-the-top zaniness. “ ~ Publishers Weekly

Download free standards-based Curriculum Guides for There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog and There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea at www.jenniferwardbooks.com

Monday, March 08, 2010

Go Beans! BEAN APPETIT is here

From the owners of the nation's leading healthy kids' cafe and cooking school, Bean Sprouts, comes a new book to tempt taste buds and delight parents with happier mealtimes! BEAN APPETIT: Hip and Healthy Ways to Have Fun with Food is filled with oodles of good-for-you recipes, along with food-themed games and activities that will inspire lifelong healthy eating habits.

Young chefs can explore new foods and flavors such as Fla-Mango Soup, High Note Nibblers (a keyboard sculpture of bread, chicken, apples and yogurt!), Green Gobbler, and Mama Mato Tomatoes. One of our favorites is Sweetheart Sandwiches --- tasty sweet potatoes meet yummy cranberries in a fun-to-make sandwich kids will gobble up. Download the recipe here: http://www.beansproutscafe.com/sweet.html
We're so excited to announce the book is now available and will be featured in several parenting magazines in the coming months including Kiwi, Parents, Working Mother, Baby & Toddler, American Baby, Family Fun and more!

To learn more about BEAN APPETIT by Shannon Payette Seip and Kelly Parthen, owners of Bean Sprouts cafe, visit: www.beansproutscafe.com

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Announcing Toni Buzzeo Writing Contest!


We are so excited to welcome beloved librarian and children's books author Toni Buzzeo to the Full Circle family! Toni's latest picture book, NO T-REX IN THE LIBRARY, is just out this month from Simon & Schuster. To celebrate, Toni is hosting a writing contest for preK to sixth graders with prizes including autographed signed copies of the book and a Skype author visit!

To download full contest rules and a free teachers guide for NO T-REX IN THE LIBRARY go to: http://www.tonibuzzeo.com/booksnotrexinthelibrary.html

Look for more great books from Toni coming soon!
 

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