The year is winding down, dear friends. It’s been a whirlwind of political upheaval, natural disasters, and global unrest. But here in picturebookland, at Picture Books Help Kids Soar, we’ve tried to keep our eyes and hearts on beautiful books that will educate, entertain, and inspire our children!
I’m thrilled to say that my blog made Feedspot’s Top 100 Children’s Book Blogs…that means the world to me because it means that people are finding value in my posts and I’m truly honored to see my name in a list with bloggers I have long admired and respected: https://blog.feedspot.com/childrens_book_blogs/
Today, for Perfect Picture Book Friday, I want to shine a light on MARTI’S SONG OF FREEDOM by debut author Emma Otheguy. It came out earlier this year, but I missed doing a review and it is so special for so many reasons, I knew I had to share it before the year was over.
MARTI’S SONG FOR FREEDOM
Written by Emma Otheguy
Illustrated by Beatriz Vidal
Bilingual translation by Adriana Dominguez
Themes: justice, political activism
From Booklist: Cuban poet and political activist José Martí witnessed an injustice at a young age and gave his life trying to right that wrong. He opposed slavery in Cuba and knew that the only way to end it would be to free Cuba from Spain s rule. Cuban American author Otheguy illuminates the life of a young man endeavoring to make a difference through affecting bilingual verses, which make Cuba s complicated history with slavery and colonialism accessible to young readers. By incorporating excerpts of Marti s writing into the narration, Otheguy introduces a new generation of readers to an important champion of human rights. Vidal s gouache artwork captures the beauty and the injustice of which Martí wrote, showcasing his country s vibrant colors, as in the pinks and oranges of the sunset, and illustrating the harsh treatment of enslaved Africans, who are shown performing backbreaking labor in sugarcane fields. Dominguez s excellent Spanish translation makes Martí s story available to a wide audience, and the text offers significant additional information via an afterword on Cuba s history, a selected bibliography, and excerpts from Martí s Versos Sencillos. Otheguy and Vidal tell a timely story that will inspire many to fight for equality and sings songs for freedom.
Why I like this book:
- I’m a fan of nonfiction picture books…what a fabulous vehicle to help young kids see history come alive
- This was a story I did not know much about – and I love the poetry and bilingual format
- Author and illustrator combined their talents perfectly
Photo courtesy: http://www.dltk-kids.com
- Make a Flag: to make the flag of a different country, find a picture online and copy the correct colors and design.
For detailed instructions for the American flag: http://www.dltk-kids.com/usa/flag-day.htm
2. Talk about freedom…what does it mean to live in a country where you are free?
3. Write topics on slips of paper and pick one to write a poem about.
This really was a stellar year for brilliant picture books. To check out many more of them, please go to www.PicturetheBooks2017.wordpress.com
To give your favorite authors and illustrators the best gift, why not post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and other review sites.
It’s been a fabulous year for me as well…nothing officially announced yet, but I just signed one book contract, will be signing another before the end of the year, and just waiting on the third contract to arrive. I can’t thank my agent, my critique buddies, and all of my friends and family enough for their unfailing support and encouragement. I hope to be able to share more details soon!
And I’d like to pass along a link to a wonderful mentorship opportunity. Writing with the Stars could be the jumpstart you need to get your manuscript where it needs to be: http://beckytarabooks.com/wwts-contest/
I’m wishing all of you a happy holiday season…if you are traveling, please be safe. If you are home, I hope you are surrounded by friends and family. And I thank you for spending some of your precious time with me.