Entertainment

24 Children’s Books You Should Read To Your Child Now

There is nothing more personal and endearing than parents reading to their children. It is portrayed in every family movie as the time of day when the family comes together in loving silence as one person takes the family on an imaginative ride. If you are trying to figure out which books you should read to your children, look no further. Here are 24 books that you can read to your children as they grow up. They just so happen to be Latino storylines because some stories transcend all things and connect us as people.

1. “Return to Sender” by Julia Alvarez

CREDIT: Return To Sender. Amazon. Digital Image. April 4, 2018.

Julia Alvarez’s book “Return to Sender” is as relevant now as it was when she wrote it in 2010. The story is about a farming family from Vermont who’s father gets hurt. In order to save the farm they have to hire Mexican migrant workers to keep things running. The rest shows what happens when two worlds collide and the differences  connect all of us.

2. “Round Is a Tortilla” by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

CREDIT: Round Is A Tortilla. Amazon. Digital Image. April 4, 2018.

This is for the little one more than anyone since the main focus is learning shapes. Of course they learn the circle shape from the tortilla but they also learn the rectangle shape from the ice cream cart and the triangles of a quesadilla.

3. “ish” by Peter H. Reynolds

CREDIT: Ish. Amazon. Digital Image. April 4, 2018.

Every parent wants their child to reach for the moon and be as creative and successful as possible. What better way to harness that kind of energy than by telling them the story of Ramon in “ish.” Ramon is a child who just loves to draw anywhere and anytime. However, he gets a critique from a brother and is instantly trying to do things just right. But, thankfully, his sister reminds him of the wild wonder that once dominated his work and he is able to continue exploring his own style.

4. “The Dreamer” by Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís

CREDIT: The Dreamer. Amazon. Digital Image. April 4, 2018.

If you want to give your child a look into what imagination can become, this is the book. The authors of the book take the reader on a journey through Chilean rainforests and wilderness following an entrancing voice and calling. This is the early life of poet Pablo Neruda and how it shaped him to become one of the most critically acclaimed poets in the world.

5. “Who Was Cesar Chavez?” by Dana Meachen Rau

CREDIT: Who Was Cesar Chavez?. Amazon. Digital Image. April 4, 2018.

Who was he? If you want to give your children a little bit of history with their evening stories, this is the book for you. Cesar Chavez fought tirelessly for the rights of farmworkers in California and eventually the nation. It is a piece of history that lingers today through his partner in the revolution, Dolores Huerta.

6. “Esperanza Rising” by Pam Muñoz Ryan

CREDIT: Esperanza Rising. Amazon. Digital Image. April 4, 2018.

This book is all about rising above your difficulties to strive for a better future. Esperanza is a young girl in Mexico during the Great Depression and she and her mother flee north to California. Gone are the days of sitting idly while others works. Esperanza is left fighting for survival next to her mother and her character is forever shaped by these experiences.

7. “Baseball in April and Other Stories” by Gary Soto

CREDIT: Baseball In April / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

A dose of Americana, Gary Soto shows what life was like for a Mexican-American kid growing up in the central valley in California. Get ready for a lot of knock-off Barbies, Little League tryouts and a Spanish glossary to help those who don’t speak Spanish.

8. “Islandborn” by Junot Díaz

CREDIT: IslandBorn / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

Follow Lola as she tries to recall the country where her family immigrated from. It is her classes’ assignment but she was so young that she has to ask her family to figure it out. Before you know it, she is knee deep in beautiful memories and ideas of the island that they left behind.

9. “Too Many Tamales” by Gary Soto and Ed Martinez

CREDIT: Too Many Tamales / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

This classic has left Latino children anxious during the holidays. During the wild blur that is making tamales, Maria accidentally loses her mother’s ring and the only place they can think to look are in the tamales. This is one of the most comedic and heartwarming books on the shelves.

10. “Abuela” by Arthur Dorros

CREDIT: Abuela / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

This book is just one long and exciting journey over New York City as Rosalba and her abuela fly over the city. You get to see and hear the city through her abuela’s eyes and ears and it is just magical.

11. “Who Was Roberto Clemente?” By James Buckley Jr.

CREDIT: Who Was Roberto Clemente / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

Roberto Clemente is one of the most influential names in baseball. The Puerto Rican raised player who was the youngest of seven children excelled in the sport. In his career, he won numerous awards and was the first Latin American player inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

12. “La Princesa and the Pea” by Susan Middleton Elya

CREDIT: La Princesa And The Pea / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

If you are thinking that this is the same thing as “The Princess and the Pea” then you are right. However, this version is full with cultural moments that give the classic story and very Latino twist.

13. “Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos” by Monica Brown

CREDIT: Frida Kahlo And Her Animalitos / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

We all know Frida Kahlo and her amazing work, but what about her companions outside of Diego Rivera? This books shines some light on the animals that Kahlo kept close to her to keep her happy and creative. If you love animals, check it out.

14. “Niño Wrestles the World” by Yuyi Morales

CREDIT: Niño Wrestles The World / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

The title and artwork kind of lay out what you can expect from this story. Niño is one of the bravest wrestlers he can think of and the book is all about his journey to become the best wrestler in the world.

15. “Yes! We Are Latinos” by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy

CREDIT: Yes! We Are Latinos / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

This book will give all Latinos the representation they have never had. The author explores the lives of Latinos living across the country and the difference in our vast community. Some of us have Asian heritage in our blood and some have strong ties back to Africa. But in the end, we are all also Latino and connected.

16. “Coco: The Junior Novelization” by Disney/Pixar

CREDIT: Coco / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

“Coco” is here in book version for your little one to love and admire. Seriously, it is literally the same story with grand pictures to once again capture your little one’s heart.

17. “My Name Is Maria Isabel” by Alma Flor Ada

CREDIT: My Name Is Maria Isabel / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

Have you ever been the second person in a room or team with the same name? That is Maria Isabel’s issue when she get to a new class. Since there is already on Maria, the teacher suggests they call her Mary but she doesn’t like that. It is important to her to be called Maria because her name is special in her family. What can she do about it?

18. “Tito Puente: Mambo King” by Monica Brown

CREDIT: Tito Puente / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

Music is one of the greatest forms of art in existence and no one knew that better than Tito Puente who grew up banging pots and pans until he found his skill as a musician. This book will give your little one the inspiration to follow their dreams.

19. “Gazpacho for Nacho” by Tracey Kyle

CREDIT: Gazpacho For Nacho / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

Everyone goes through a phase when they only want to eat one specific dish. For Nacho it is gazpacho. Seriously. Breakfast, lunch and dinner for this kid is only the cold, yet delicious soup.

20. “Julián Is A Mermaid” by Jessica Love

CREDIT: Julián Is A Mermaid / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

Who hasn’t wanted to rebel against society and be who they truly are? Julián is that kid when he sees women in amazing dresses that inspire him to create his own outfit imitating mermaids.

21. “Windows” by Julia Denos

CREDIT: Windows / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

This book is filled with a wonder we have all known: windows in the neighborhood. Julia Denos takes the readers for a journey through a neighborhood walk when the sun sets and windows start to light up and you get quick glimpses into your neighbors lives.

22. Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows In the Bronx” by Jonah Winter

CREDIT: Sonia Sotomayor / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

Sonia Sotomayor was the first Latino appointed to the highest court int he nation and she wasn’t raised with privilege. This book tells the story of the Latina justice and her upbringing in the Bronx that led her to pursue a career in justice.

23. “Besos for Baby” by Jen Arena

CREDIT: Besos For Baby / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

This book will teach you the basics of Spanish with the different people and animals that give the baby little besos.

24. “Crossing the Wire” by Will Hobbs

CREDIT: Crossing The Wire / Amazon / Digital Image / April 4, 2018

For the more mature child, this book gives you a glimpse into the circumstance that lead some people to make the decision to head north. It is more relevant now than ever considering our political environment.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Disney is Making a Latino Version of ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

Entertainment

Disney is Making a Latino Version of ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

Another day, another Latino-fied reboot of a beloved story. Recently, we reported that “Father of the Bride” is going to be rebooted, this time with a “sprawling Cuban family” at the center of the movie. Now, apparently ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ is getting the same treatment.

According to Deadline, this version of ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ is going to “focus on a multigenerational Latinx family”.

Since there was already a 2014 version of the popular children’s book that starred Steve Carrell and Jennifer Garner, the movie is technically being called a “reboot”. But we just like to think of it as a reinterpretation.

Per Deadline, the movie is being developed specifically for Disney+. Seeing as this reinterpretation is being written by the same guy who is writing the “Father of the Bride” reboot (Matt Lopez), it looks like this writer is definitely carving out a niche for himself in Hollywood.

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is an incredibly popular children’s book that was published in 1972 by the author Judith Viorst.

Latino artist Ray Cruz illustrated the famously distinctive pictures in the book and its three sequels, “Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday”, “Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move”, and “Alexander Who’s Trying His Best to Be the Best Boy Ever”.

Viorst, who was also a psychoanalysis researcher, wrote the book to help children process the all-too-common feelings of isolation and frustration that occur when nothing seems to be going their way. It is considered a classic.

Although it’s exciting that another Latino-centric story is going to be brought to the screen, it would also be nice for new, original Latino stories to be told.

For example, part of “Coco’s” popularity was the fact that the movie celebrated and elevated specific aspects of Mexican culture. The movie wasn’t a Latino interpretation of a white text, but it was a Latino narrative through and through.

A lot of the time, Hollywood thinks it can just swap out the characters’ names and slap some Latino actors on the cast, and they’ve hit their “diversity quota” for the year. But true representation goes much deeper than that.

Think about how many “Latino Reboots” there have been. “Charmed”, “One Day at a Time”, “Party of Five”, “Magnum P.I.” , “Father of the Bride”. It’s exciting that Hollywood is taking steps to employee Latino actors and creatives, but it might be time for an original, authentic Latino story to be told.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s Book Captures The Anguish Of Living Undocumented And Makes Her The First Undocumented Immigrant Named A Finalist For The National Book Award

Fierce

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s Book Captures The Anguish Of Living Undocumented And Makes Her The First Undocumented Immigrant Named A Finalist For The National Book Award

Ecuadorian-born Karla Cornejo Villavicencio immigrated to the United States when she was about four years old. She was one of the first known undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard and is also a Yale Ph.D candidate. While at Harvard, she wrote the Daily Beast anonymous essay “Dream Act: I’m An Illegal Immigrant at Harvard,” which expresses the war Villavicencio faced as the Dream Act failed to pass. She wrote “It would hurt to be forced to leave, but it hurts to stay the way I’m staying now. I belong to this place but I also want it to belong to me.”

About a decade later, Villavicencio is the first undocumented finalist in history named for the National Book Award on her book The Undocumented Americans.

Villavicencio always had a knack for writing. As a teenager living in the Bronx, she started out writing by reviewing jazz albums for a monthly magazine in New York City.

For years, she would read different cliche caricatures of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and the chasing of the “American Dream.”

She always felt that she could do much better to tell these raw stories but didn’t really know how. It wasn’t until Trump was elected to the presidency, that Villavicencio knew it was time to tell the story in her own words. “I just never felt like I had a fire in my belly until the night of the election.

As a DACA student herself, Villavicencio set out across the country to interview and tell the stories of undocumented immigrants like never before. To give names to the nameless laborers and tokenized pawns and rather report on the provocative heartbreak, love, insanity, and at times-vulgarity infused into the everyday plight of undocumented immigrants. She describes these accounts as complex, unscripted, and “don’t inspire hashtags or T-shirts.” She goes on to say in the introduction of the book that “This book is for everybody who wants to step away from the buzzwords in immigration, the talking heads, the kids in graduation caps and gowns, and read about the people underground,” she writes. “Not heroes. Randoms. People. Characters.”

Mixed in with accounts that reflect her own biography and memoir also include Latino literature styles of writing such as magical realism, streams-of-consciousness, and testimonio.

The book is dedicated to Claudia Gomez Gonzalez, an undocumented immigrant and nurse-hopeful killed by a border patrol agent in 2018. The Undocumented Americans takes the reader throughout the nation. To the undocumented workers recruited to clean up New York City after 9/11 and some of the undocumented people’s deaths from this community shortly after. To the curanderas and healers in Miami who create medicinal herbs since their citizenship status blocks them from healthcare. To the immigrants denied clean water in Flint, Michigan because they do not have a state ID. To the childless teenagers in Connecticut who’s parents are in sanctuary. To the Staten Island where undocumented day laborer Ubaldo Cruz Martinez drowned during Hurricane Sandy. To the startling amount of undocumented Black and Brown people dying from COVID-19 more than any other groups.

Throughout these interviews and stories, Villavicencio interweaves her own personal stories of the battles she faced mentally and externally in the face of her undocumented status and intergenerational trauma.

Villavicencio paints an incredibly raw and vulnerable picture of her mental anguish and Borderline Personality Disorder in complexities and nuances of her life as an undocumented immigrant chasing what society has deemed the “American Dream.” She grappled with this dream narrative for children of immigrants which she says is like “kid, you graduated, now you can pay your parents back—actually, you’re 21, and your parents are going to keep aging out of manual labor, and you might lose DACA, and you might not be able to pay them back.” After she graduated Harvard as a “good immigrant,” she said that instead, “I was on so many antipsychotics that I forgot how to go down stairs.”

Villavicencio now has a green card. Described as “captivating and evocative” by New York Times and the “book we’ve been waiting for,” by author Robert G. Gonzalez, Villavicencio hopes this book will give undocumented immigrants a voice they’ve never had before. She even said “I’ve had my DMs flooded with children of immigrants, DACA kids, kids who are not on DACA, older immigrants whose parents came here as adults, all these people saying, “I didn’t know I was allowed to feel this way.” Her book is available for purchase anywhere.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com