Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Cesar Chavez day

Cesar Chavez Day is a day for service. What about celebrating reading?

Here are my favorite children books about Cesar Chavez:

Cesar: Si, Se Puede!, Yes, We Can! By Carment T. Bernier-Grand and David Diaz. Beautiful heartfelt poems tell about the life and work of Cesar Chavez.

Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez, by Rudolfo Anaya and Gaspar Enriquez. A poem Eulogizing Cesar.

Cesar Chavez: A Hero for Everyone
, by Gary Soto and Lohstoeter Lori. A book written by Gary, who is not only an iconic Chicano writer, but also the Young People Ambassador for the United Farm Workers of America.

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, by Kathleen Krull and Yuyi Morales.
Of course, this is my most beloved book about Chavez. From the moment I got the manuscript to illustrate, I knew a blessing had fell upon me. I read the text, and the story of Cesar, for the first time one morning in my way to pick my son to school, only to find myself standing up in the street with a knot on my throat. Here was a real hero for me to honor and love.

And here a quick list of books about Farmworkers and Farmworkers life:

Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English. By Alma Flor Ada and Simon Silva
A Day’s Work. By Eve Bunting and Ronald Himler.
Radio Man: A Story in English and Spanish. Arthur Dorros and Sandra Marulanda Dorros
Calling the Doves/El Canto de las Palomas. By Juan Felipe Herrera and Elly Simmons..
The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child. By Francisco Jiménez.
The Tortilla Factory/La Tortillería. By Gary Paulsen and Ruth Wright Paulsen.
First Day in Grapes. By L. King Pérez and Robert Casilla.
Esperanza Rising. By Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Happy reading.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Letter to Mrs. Horn's Class

Drawing by Leslie

Dear Mrs. Horn and the children at Galveston Elementary,

I loved receiving your letters. Thank you for all the artwork you made of Grandma Beettle and Señor Calavera. I must tell you, children, your drawings rock!
I was also happy to hear that my books made you laugh and that you put together a play where you got to act out the story of Grandma Beetle and Señor Calvera. I am sure I would have laugh seeing your play.
Some of you also had some questions for me. Here I am going to try to respond to most of them:

How did you become and artist?
I became an artist by learning and practicing doing art. I had to teach my hands how to make thins like drawing and painting, and I had to practice a lot because at first all my attempts at doing drawings were very bad. Has that ever happened to you?

When you were little were you an artist?
I believe that I was an artist when I was little.My mother has some drawings I made since when I was two-years old. Except, guess what? Those drawings weren't very good at all! They were mostly doodles and lots of scribbles. But since I have been doing it for so long now, I am kind of good now. Here is a page from a note book with drawings I made when I was about 4-years old (the pencil drawing of the face at the top-middle is not mine. My mother drew that):

How old are you?
I was born in the month of November, the year 1968. Can you tell how old am I?

Do you have a dog?
I have two dogs. One loves to eat; his name is Chacho. Then we have Luna; she is the best jumper I have even seen and she like toys. Here is a picture of Luna:

Opps, wait, that is not a good picture. Here is a more acurate one of Chacho and Luna:

Do you like playing catch?
I like playing catch, but i am not very good at it. It seems like I have to practice more. However my son, who is 16-years old, is super good at catching balls, but even better is my dog Luna.

How old were you when you made your first book?
The first book I made was published in the year 2003. Can you tell how old I was?

My favorite book is Just a Minute. What is your favorite book?
It is hard to choose just one. I love all of my books because they were fun to make and they are about the things I like the most like birthday parties, piñatas, food, children, and sometimes ghosts.

Are you married?
Yes, I am married to a very tall and skinny guy who likes music very much. His name is Tim. He is not Señor Calavera!

Drawing by Cinthia

Señor Calavera is not scary to me. Is it to you?
I am not scared of Señor calavera, actually I think he is kind of cute and I like it that he is very good at finding presents.

Do you think I rote a lot?
I think you wrote just the right amount. You most be a writer!

Will you write me back?

Drawing by Aaron

By the Way, Ericka, I think that "When I Fell Off My Bike" is a great title for a story.
Everybody keep writing your stories. Thank you again for your letters.

Sincerely yours,
Yuyi Morales

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Celebrting Gabo's birthday

My friend Gianna sent me this poem written by Rafael Jesus Gonzales in commemoration of Gabriel Garcia Marquez 84 birthday. You can find the poem written in English too at Rafael's blog here.

-Lunas de los arcángeles

--a Gabriel García Márquez

Dice Gabriel el arcángel
que por cada minuto
que uno cierre los ojos
se pierden sesenta segundos
de luz —
por eso vigila de noche
y enciende velitas de azucenas,
las estrellas sin cuenta,
con su lámpara redonda
de la luna plena.

Dice Rafael el arcángel
que por cada minuto
que uno duerma
se escapan sesenta peces
de ensueño —
por eso vaga la playa nocturna
para coger los peces de azogue,
las estrellas sin cuenta,
en redes con el flotador
de la luna plena.

Dice Miguel el arcángel
que por cada minuto
que uno olvide
se marchitan sesenta flores
del recuerdo —
por eso va por la noche
segando con su espada de plata
los jazmines de llama,
las estrellas sin cuenta,
que recoge en su escudo
de la luna plena.

------© Rafael Jesús González 2010

Feliz cumpleaños.