Heartbeat of El Barrio


Barnes and Noble

El barrio is a heartbeat, Shhh, listen! It’s the sound of blaring trumpets, tejano, and salsa music tickling my feet! The mariachis play at all the quinceaneras in my neighborhood.

El Barrio written by Debbi Chocolate and illustrated by David Diaz

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Grandmother’s Power



But Carlos remembers Abuela’s quiet power, the way she held ailing children in her arms and cured them. The way she could walk down a village road when she was well. The village was complete with her presence, even though she’d been so quiet. She hardly needed to say a word. Her power had spoken for itself..”

La Neveria a short story in Voice Lessons: Tales of Breaking Free; by Catherine Holm

The Monster Smiled


This book is written in English but contains Spanish words in a style similar to that used by the Dora The Explorer and Go, Diego Go! cartoons (and books). The words are the names of less commonly known animals and I found myself struggling to pronounce a few. So…fair warning…if you are relying on High School/College Spanish classes and are in the habit of showing off your pronunciation skills while reading to youngsters (uh….yeah….I do that) then you may want to practice these terms before preparing to read.


“Did I scare you?” Asked Spike.

“Scare me? No.” El Monstruo laughed. “It’s just that no one has ever smiled at me before.”

…”Wait, amigo, I need your help….Everyone runs away from me, so I have no one to ask for help.”

Spike the Mixed-Up Monster, written by Susan Hood and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

All about Axolotls (AKA: Spike the Monster):



My shoes will take me anywhere



“Holes! Round, bad, horrible holes are in the soles of my shoes. There are pebbles between my toes. There are tears in my eyes.

“Sana, sana, colita de rana,” I say to my shoes. I try to smile at them.

Papa’ cheers me up. “Mario, my strong boy, we want to be with Mama’. We won’t give up,” Papa’ says.

Uno, dos, tres, my shoes and I are almost there. We have made it all the way from El Salvador to here. We can finish, yes we can.”

My Shoes and I, written by Rene’ Colato Lainez and illustrated by Fabricio Vanden Broek

Throughout this book the main character keeps repeating the same sentence to his shoes, whenever there is trouble: Sana, sana, colita de rana. Printed on the very last page of the book, after the story has ended, is the entire nursery rhyme in both Spanish and English. The rhyme is followed by this sentence: “A nursery rhyme Hispanic parents sing to their children when they get hurt.”

A few more links: