Little Faces in The Mirror of a Book

I’ve come con las manos abiertas [with open hands] to ask you un gran favor. Please buy a Latino children’s book to read your children, your nietos o sobrinos—and no, it doesn’t have to be my children’s book (though it would be nice).

If you read this article in The New York Times, you will understand why I’m asking you—no, begging you, amigas, to help me and my fellow Latina bloggers send a loud ¡grito! to those big New York-based publishers: Latino children’s books are not just a good investment, but the right thing to do.

They say that we do not buy books for our children.

Much less read to them.

How can we convince them that it simply not the case?

We open up our wallets and buy a book.

A book to read to our little ones at night antes que se van a dormir.

And introduce them to a story-friend who looks just like them.

And acts like them.

Someone who talks the way they do.

Who laughs at the same things.

Whose family is just like theirs.

And whose dreams are their dreams, too.

They might eat tamales.

Or prefer habichuelas.

Arroz con pollo just might be their thing.

And even a pupusa or two.

Let them see their reflection through the magic mirror of a book.

So go buy one!

Adios, chiquita. And thank you!

Three of My Favorite Latino Children’s Books

This LA-born girl has a real soft spot for the children of migrant farm workers. That NY Times article called them stereotypical characters. I call them real children, whose hard-working parents harvest almost every single fruit and vegetable we put into our mouths. Here are some books that tell of their experience. Please click on the titles to buy.

By Francisco Jiménez

Adapted by Jewell Reinhart Coburn

and last and most certainly least,
By Clementina Llanes
(shameless plug!)

Check out the links below and find out how you can support Latino Children's Literature:

Latina Bloggers Respond: Void in Latino Children Literature (click here)
Yes, Latinos Do Buy Books: 3 Things You Can Do To Make a Difference (click here)
Where is the Latino Children's Literature? (click here)
Latina Bloggers React: Not Enough Hispanic Authors, Books Due to Publishing Industry (click here)
An Open Letter to an Elementary School Librarian (click here)
To Boost Reading Skills Latino Children Need More Than Books They Identify With (click here)
Latina Bloggers React: We Need More (click here)


AutismWonderland said...

Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. And for sharing your suggestions.

We need to start making our voice heard.

We do buy books. And we read them to our children.

Monica Olivera said...

Love these books suggestions! And your post so perfectly shows the diversity of our children.

Let's make a difference.


Anonymous said...

Imagine all the wonderful Latino Chileans books that are yet to be written and how our children are going to love reading them with their mamas and papas!

Tera said...

Absolutely! I loved this post and I want to read your book, I read the others!

I was fortunate to meet Francisco Jiménez when he was at the Texas Book Festival a few years ago and I was in charge of making sure he had all he needed. He is such a wonderful person and such a calm and tender demeanor.

So far I have made it a point to purchase Latino children's books for our baby. It is time for all of us to make our children and literacy a priority.

Tera said...

Congratulations on your book!!!!!!!!!!!! Will be getting it!!!!

Tera said...

Congratulations on your book!!!!!!!!!!!! Will be getting it!!!!

Clementina said...

Hola Tera!
This is Clementina. When I read The Circuit it was the very first time I heard the voices of my mother and father in a book, something that had never happened before. I KNEW these people. I couldn't stop crying when I read it.

Jen Greyson said...

Such a great campaign, and I'm excited to pick yours up to read to my boys!!

Clementina said...

Hola, Jen!
Thank you! I hope you will like my little book. :^)

Ebony said...

Yay! Not only did I discover a new blog to love (thank you, Clementina) but I've come at the right time. I just posted this sentiment on Facebook yesterday how publishers seem to be ignoring Latino-themed literature despite the recent surge in Latino consumer influence. I'm a fan. :)

Ebony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JUNE said...

What a shocking situation! I have written a book as well and it's a crazy world of's really not easy at all to get it out there, but you certainly don't need a road block even before you good luck with your book and it's success and thx for letting us know about another injustice that needs to be addressed!
Best of luck! june

The Tenorio Boys... And me! said...

OMG I am in love! Just discovered your site on pinterest! Love all your posts I've gone back to read up until 2009! Ahh lost hours of que hacer de la casa lol! It's ok though I already have my chiles rellenos made up for the family :)

Gosh! I look forward to following your blog!

Anonymous said...

Where 'o where have you been? You are my FAVORITE blogger. I hope all is well with you. Looking forward to some fresh posts someday....❤️

Wine dine daily said...

Lovely collection of books and also congratulations on your book! Cheers!

Melissa Flores said...

Just wondering if you'll ever pick up on blogging again? I absolutely love your stories and the recipes are amazing!