Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bilingual children's books by Salvadoran authors

Wonders of the City

Here in the city there are
wonders everywhere.
Here mangoes
come in cans.
In El Salvador
they grew up on the trees
Here chickens come
in plastic bags.
Over there
they slept beside me.

This is one of 21 poems about a child's experience of emigrating from El Salvador to the US in the book A Movie in My Pillow/ Una película en mi almohada,written by Salvadoran author Jorge Argueta. Argueta writes bilingual children's books, and I learned about him when I stumbled across a blog entry by another Salvadoran writing children's books, René Colato Laínez.

One of Colato Laínez' children's books is I am René, the Boy. Here's how that book is described in one of the reviews at
René learns in school, to his surprise, that in the United States his name is also a girl's name. The boys in his school tease him because of his name. A resourceful child, René researches his name in the school library and finds the meaning of his name. In a school contest he writes about his name and explains how it is connected to both his homeland, El Salvador and, his adopted country, the United States.

For anyone, Anglo or Latino, wanting to find children's books which explore growing up in two cultures, you should check out these two Salvadoran authors.


Tina Anderson said...

I'm moving to San Salvador in 2 months and was looking for a good gift for my friends daughter. This is perfect! And I got one for me to. Thanks for your consistent, thoughtful attention to all things El Salvador. Maybe I will see you there sometime? I will be working with

HODAD26 said...

thanks for a positive post
children are the hope for the future
lest we forget, any educational experience especially involving two cultures makes for great heirs apparent