Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Here comes the Biblioburro!

Tacatac Clip-clop --- the Biblioburro is coming to PBS and to a new picture book by Monica Brown!

This week PBS POV (Documentaries with a Point of View) will begin airing the documentary of a librarian — and a library — like no other. Colombian teacher-librarian Luis Soriano brings books via two hard-working donkeys, to the children of one of Columbia's poorest provinces. Airings begin July 19 and will run at various days/times in the next few weeks, check your local listings here. The documentary is also available as a full-length download from PBS, along with educator resources such as lesson plans, bookmarks and a map of mobile libraries around the world.

Inspired by the heroic efforts of Luis Soriano, award-winning picture book creators Monica Brown and John Parra introduce readers to the mobile library that journeys over mountains and through valleys to bring literacy and culture to rural Colombia, and to the children who wait for the Biblioburro. A portion of the proceeds from sales of this book support Luis Soriano's Biblioburro program. On the heels of the national PBS feature, the book will release from Random House Children's Books on August 9th.

For a sneak preview of the book, watch the book video here----and be sure to tune into PBS. PBS is sponsoring a contest for librarians to win a free copy of the book, click here for details!

Listen to Monica Brown's interview on KUHF, Houston Public Radio and visit Monica Brown's website for a free teacher's guide and more!

Kirkus Star"Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life...The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun."---Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"The pleasure and love of reading are joyfully brought forth in this simple, happily rendered tale."--School Library Journal

Dancing to a Bookstore Near You!

DANCING HOME, the new book by award-winning author Alma Flor Ada and her son and co-writer Gabriel Zubizarreta is now available. We are thrilled that the book has been published simultaneously in English and Spanish (under the title Nacer bailando), and just love this middle grade novel by the author of the modern classic MY NAME IS MARIA ISABEL!

Margie thinks of herself as an all-American girl and wants to stay that way. The image she has built for herself begins to crumble upon the arrival of her cousin Lupe, who comes from Mexico to live with Margie's family. Margie has no choice but to help Lupe navigate school in a language she cannot understand, and resents her Spanish-speaking cousin for turning her into an "outsider" too. Little by little, as the two girls are forced to share everything, Margie becomes more sympathetic about her cousin's situation and the two begin to form a bond that in the end, will help each girl learn what "home" really means to her. A fun read for children, this book is also relevant, as it deals with some of the real issues kids face today, such as immigration and the effects it has on families here, and abroad.

DANCING HOME is featured in The New York Times Sunday Book Review, "How to Be a Bicultural Schoolgirl"!

Take a look at what other critics are saying!

"An absorbing novel for readers of any background"—The New York Times

"Ada and Zubizarreta write knowingly of the difficulties of a life lived in two cultures"—Booklist

"An enjoyable offering that will capture readers’ attention and have them rooting for the cousins and their friendships and family relationships."—School LIbrary Journal

"Margie and Lupe will charm readers as each girl struggles for belonging and acceptance in this realistic novel." Kirkus

*** Check out this video mother-and-son writing team Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel Zubizarreta posted on Bing, where the authors discuss their inspiration for writing their middle grade novel DANCING HOME, just published by Simon & Schuster. Alma Flor Ada discusses what she believes are some of the most important elements that make up a "culture," while her son shares what it was like to write with his award-winning author mother for the first time!

The authors have another middle grade novel coming out with Simon and Schuster next year, so keep an eye out for that, too! —Adriana

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Writing Workshop in New Mexico

Our friends from New Mexico shared info on this wonderful summer writing retreat---spreading the word for all of you ready for some "rest & writing" this August!

Write Your Heart Out

(Stories based on your life experiences)

A One-week Summer Writing Workshop in El Rito, New Mexico

August 8th to August 12th, 2011

Workshop Facilitator: Roberta Orona-Cordova

Where: El Rito, New Mexico, on the campus of Northern New Mexico College. The El Rito campus is 57 miles north of Santa Fe on a 62 acre tract. The elevation is 6,800 feet. Adjacent to the campus is the scenic and peaceful El Rito village that is surrounded by the Carson National Forest. 15 miles to the east is the village of Ojo Caliente which is famous for its hot mineral springs. 18 miles to the northwest is Abiquiu, which was settled by the Genizaro indigenous people and is one of the first Spanish land grants (1753) in northern New Mexico. There is one restaurant, a Catholic church, a vibrant public library, and a post office across the street from the college. This quiet, restful community is ideal for writing.

When: The workshop will begin Sunday evening, August 7th and end Friday, August 12th. Sunday evening there will be an historical introduction to the area—the original Chama Valley. The afternoon of the last day there will be a field trip to witness the tribal corn dance at the Santa Clara pueblo—a celebration of a Native American feast day. If you come from out-of-state you are encouraged to remain in the area for an extra day or two and visit scenic Santa Fe.

Attendees will spend 3 hours in workshop, and free time in the afternoons and evenings for writing.

Tuition: $250.00. Lodging: $36.00 a night. Meals: $150.00 (breakfast, lunch & dinner for 5 days). Barbeque Sunday at night. The college provides pillows and bed linen. There is a small kitchen in the dorm for people who want to cook or prepare snacks.

Writing: You may already be working on narratives based on your life—long or short, i.e., one episode in your life, or a phase in your life. In any case, this is an opportunity to devote focused time to just writing. El Rito is quaint, quiet, and isolated—a perfect setting to write your heart out—new material, or revise what you are already working on. If you are committed to this you should be able to write daily. The workshop hours will be devoted to writing exercises, giving directions and feedback, answering common questions such as, “Is it okay to use real names?” You will be encouraged to read all the work you develop in the workshop. I suggest you read at least one memoir, or two before the workshop begins. Come prepared to share the memoir you are familiar with and/or bring a memoir with you. I’ll be happy to provide you with recommendations.

Attractions: Northern New Mexico is quite beautiful, especially the Carson National Forest where there are hiking trails, mountains to climb, lakes for fishing, and picnic and camping grounds. You will be one hour from Taos, 25 minutes from the Santa Clara and San Juan Indian pueblos, 15 minutes from the Georgia O’Keefe house, and 20 minutes from the natural hot springs in Ojo Caliente. You are encouraged to bring a swimsuit. Also, there are several Native American pueblos in the area.

. Hacienda of Padre Martinez in Taos

. Art museums in Taos

. Art museums and galleries in Santa Fe

. Indian Market in Santa Fe (mid August)

For more information: please send an email to –


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