for From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems
by Francisco X. Alarcon
and Maya Christina Gonzalez
Francisco Alarcón's second bilingual picture book collection of poems for children is brimming with summer sights, summer sounds, and summer memories. The shorter poems in the collection are startling for their clarity and sense of perfection as they describe a summer-related feeling, aspect of nature, or memory in as few as eight words. The slightly longer poems sing with the cadence of personal story as they chronicle experiences specific to a child of Mexican heritage, but they are no less accessible than the shorter poems to any child who has ever loved language, or who has attached meaning to specific people and places. This Spanish/English collection, like Alarcón's earlier Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems (Children's Book Press, 1997), is illustrated with Maya Christina Gonzalez's celebratory paintings that reflect a child's joy in nature and family. (Ages 7-10)
CCBC Choices 1998. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1998. Used with permission.
Bilingual English/Spanish. From the Bellybutton of the Moon is renowned poet Francisco X. Alarcón's collection of 22 poems inspired by his touching recollections of childhood summers in Mexico.
With a poet's magical vision, Alarcón takes us back to his childhood when he traveled with his family to Mexico to visit his grandma and other relatives. We travel with him in the family station wagon, across the misty mountain range to the little town of Atoyac. There, in the beloved town of his ancestors, we hear his grandma's stories, sample Auntie Reginalda's tasty breakfasts, learn about the keys to the universe, and take playful dips in the warm sea. The lighthearted illustrations of Maya Christina Gonzalez perfectly capture the spirit of summer in Alarcón's Mexico where colors are more colorful, tastes are tastier, and even time seems to slow down.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.