Family Poems for Every Day of the Week: Poemas Familiares para cada dia de la semana
the first day el primer día
of the week is de la semana fue
dedicated to the Sun— dedicado al Sol—
with family around con familia alrededor
it’s always sunny siempre hace sol
on Sunday el domingo
So begins this bilingual collection of poems that takes us through the week day by day. Children spend Sunday visiting their grandparents, play with school friends on Monday, daydream on Tuesday, eat popcorn at the local market on Wednesday, and more, until we arrive at Saturday, when they get to play nonstop all day. Along the way, we also learn how the names of the seven days came to be.
Partly based on the real life experiences of Alarcón’s own family, this festive, celebratory collection of poems highlights the daily life of children while also honoring the experiences of the poet’s Latino family in the United States. With her vibrant illustrations, illustrator Maya Christina Gonzalez has created a loving tribute to childhood, to family, and to Francisco Alarcón, who passed away in January 2016
Francisco Alarcón - was a renowned poet and educator, and a three-time winner of the Pura Belpré Author Award Honor for his bilingual Magical Cycle of the Seasons series of poetry for children. His many other honors include the American Book Award, the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, the Chicano Literary Prize, and finalist for state poet laureate of California. Alarcón was also the author of several poetry collections for adults and textbooks for teaching Spanish. In addition, he directed the Spanish for Native Speakers Program at the University of California. Alarcón passed away in early 2016.
Maya Christina Gonzalez is a widely exhibited artist renowned for her vivid imagery of strong women and girls. She has illustrated nearly twenty children’s books, and her artwork has appeared on the cover of Contemporary Chicano/a Art. My Colors, My World was the first book Maya both wrote and illustrated. Books that Maya illustrated include Laughing Tomatoes, From the Bellybutton of the Moon, and Angels Ride Bikes. She lives and plays in San Francisco, California.
Gonzalez’s radiant illustrations (inspired by Mexican indigenous crafts, she notes) bring a sense of cosmic oneness to the pages, connecting the boy to his family, community, and the ever-spinning planet.: Publishers Weekly
Set within a loose mythological framework, each poem is partnered with a day of the week, playing with its etymology in both Spanish and English.Alarcón juxtaposes this classical imagery with a child's limitless perspective of place. "Thursday / this day is for Jupiter / the largest planet of all / and god of thunder Thor— / like Jupiter and Thor / I feel big and mighty / on Thursday." Daily ritual and mundane activities take on the patina of legend as time molds the character of what a family is and what it becomes. Equating the distinct characteristics of each day with the uniqueness of each family member, the poems embrace the strength of individuality while recognizing the power of the whole. - Kirkus Reviews
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