Southwest Books of the Year
Browsing Children's Books - all :
Clicking on a book cover will search for the book in the catalog. If it is not part of our collection, you may request it by clicking on the Can't Find It link. An icon indicates if the book is chosen by a panelist as one of the year's best.
- A Bailar! / Let's Dance!
- By Judith Ortiz Cofer. Pinata Books. $16.95.
- Judith Ortiz Cofer's newest bilingual children's book is published by Pinata Books, an imprint of Arte Publico Press from the University of Houston.
The premise seemed inviting at first but as the story went on I grew tired of the caricaturized illustrations.
I also expected the text to be fully bilingual and it was not. Spanish phrases were thrown into the text but the story itself was not translated into Spanish. [ ]
- Alicia's Fruity Drinks / Las Aguas Frescas De Alicia
- By Laura Lacamara, Lupe Ruiz-Flores. Pinata Books. $19.95.
- A brief bilingual picture book about the value of drinking fruit drinks, aguas frescas, instead of soda. When Alicia's soccer team member develops diabetes,
Alicia's mother decides to make natural fruit drinks to serve the girls instead of sodas. Everyone loves the new drinks which the team decides to call 'Alicia's Fruity Drinks'. [ ]
- Celebrate Arizona!
- By Joan Sandin. Rio Chico. 32 pp. $15.95.
- A bright, colorful children's picture book about the day Arizona became the 48th state. The story is told in rhyming verse highlighting Governor Hunt getting the news, cannons & dynamite going off, sirens, whistles, bands playing and flags now displaying 48 stars.
The last two pages feature facts about Arizona's historic journey to become a state and some facts about the president, the governor and the design of the state flag. [ ]
- Clara and the Curandera / Clara y la curandera
- By Monica Brown. Pinata Books. $16.95.
- Clara is a grumpy little girl so her Mami says it's time to visit the curandera. The curandera recommends a new course of action for Clara, including giving away her toys, helping neighbors and reading more books. Her grumpiness vanishes and with only one setback Clara becomes a helpful, considerate little girl.
- Cowboy Christmas
- By Rob Sanders. Golden Books. $10.99.
- Christmas is coming to the desert but cowboys Dwight, Darryl and Dub are disheartened, wondering if Santy Claus will find them out on the range. Cookie tries to cheer the boys up by encouraging them to create a Christmas tree from a saguaro, to make their own cookies (which burn to a crisp in the frying pan), and to dress up the cows in antlers and bandanas to make them look like reindeer. None of this works very well. “Another day, another cow,” grumbles Darryl on Christmas morning as he and the boys head off to work. But when their day is done they go back to camp and see glowing lights and hear a jolly “HoHoHo!” This story is full of bright, colorful illustrations of an ethnically-diverse set of cowboys with comical looking animals.
Could a New Year’s Eve party be far off?
- Coyote Under the Table, The/El coyote debajo de la mesa: Folk Tales Told in Spanish and English
- By Joe Hayes. Cinco Puntos Press. 133 pp. $12.95.
- A collection of ten classic Northern New Mexican folktales collected by the well known story teller, Joe Hayes.
Includes; 'The Tale of the Spotted Cat', 'The Little Snake', 'The Man Who Couldn't Stop Dancing and more retold by Hayes
Published by Cinco Puntos Press, an independent publisher from Texas. [ ]
- Diamond in the Desert, A
- By Kathryn Fitzmaurice. Viking. 258 pp. $16.99.
- Tetsu, an eight year old Japanese-American boy and his family are sent to the Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona in 1942. He describes it as “…a place where summer came in March and black scorpions crawled into your shoes at night to hide,” and “…where barbed wire stretched in twisted jumble coils to remind us of what happened on December 7, 1941.” As hundreds of families arrive at the relocation camp, the boys living there clear out a section of desert for a baseball field and start a team, playing other teams from around Arizona. They go on to beat the state champions in a rousing game. Japanese-Americans spent three years at this internment camp in Arizona and were not allowed to go home until World War II ended in 1945. This poignant historical fiction is based on the real life of 80-year-old Tetsu Furukawa. [ ]
- By Alyson Noel. St Martin's Griffin. 306 pp. $17.99.
- Alyson Noel's story of a soul seeker set in New Mexico. Written for teen audiences.
- Fidget's Folly
- By , Stacey Patterson. Mountain Press Publishing. 36 pp. $18.00.
- "Finally Echo was going to fly.” So begins this story of two peregrine falcons, raised in a 'hack' box at the edge of a canyon. Fidget and Echo are brother and sister falcons who began their lives in an incubator and later were brought to the canyon to learn to fly and to hunt on their own. They grow bigger and stronger and soon are independent. The end notes tell the reader that peregrine falcons have been taken off the Endangered Species list and are flourishing. This brief picture book has good, clear illustrations and simple text. It is ideal for a second- or third-grade reader. [ ]
- Grandpa Lolo's Navajo Saddle Blanket / La Tilma de Abuelito Lolo
- By Nasario Garcia. University of New Mexico Press. 61 pp. $19.95.
- This story is told by Junie Lopez, Grandpa Lolo's grandson. Grandpa Lolo is friends with Manuel Yazzie a Navajo native American horse trader.
The story evolves into a touching narrative of Lolo and Manuel's friendship over the years as they exchange a horse, a saddle blanket and some baby goats.
The book is illustrated with good clear photographs of the southwest. Probably best for upper elementary readers. [ ]
- I Am an Old Horned Toad
- By Lane Johnson. Brown Wing Press. $15.00.
- A sweet, short informative picture book about horned toads a.k.a. horned lizards written for very young children. This book is accompanied by a music CD with the story sung by Diamond Jim and Lynn Hewitt from original music by Merle Travis. [ ]
- Mickey the Sheep Dog
- By Cindy Shanks. AuthorHouse. $18.95.
- In this charming picture book, Mickey, a border collie who works the sheep on the Heber-Reno sheep trail, tells the story of how he, his mom, dad and brothers herd 2000 sheep for 220 miles up to Greer, AZ, in the White Mountains. Mickey talks about his dad, Champ, who is hard working and very smart, Chispa, his mom, who is expecting puppies soon and his three brothers, Chochie, Duke and Azul. The journey to the White Mountains is a lengthy trip full of dust, rattlesnakes and cactus, but Mickey and his family push on and herd the sheep through fields, around fences and through gates to their destination. Mickey ends his story by saying, “We are strong… work hard… love our handlers and herders and they love us too.” Dog lovers will especially enjoy sharing Mickey’s adventures on the sheep trail. [ ]
- Senorita Gordita
- By Helen Ketteman. Albert Whitman & Company. $16.99.
- Arana (the spider) is cooking gorditas and one jumps up running off crying "Oh, no Arana! I'm one fast gordita! You can't catch me!" She runs past Lagarto, Crotolo, Escorpion, Javelina, Coyote and up to Buho, an owl on top of a sahuaro. Buho cajoles Gordita to climb up into the sahuaro and he munches her into crumbs.
This vibrant picture book is a retellling of the gingerbread man but set in the Southwest surrounded by cactus, cowboy hats, arroyos and dust. It would be fun to read aloud to a group of kids. [ ]
- Sofia and the Purple Dress / Sofia Y El Vestido Morado
- By Diane Gonzales Bertrand. Pinata Books. $17.95.
- A didactic bilingual children's picture book about a young girl named Sofia who wants to fit into a purple dress for her cousin's quinceanera. The dress doesn't fit so she must go on a diet and start exercising.
Amazingly the purple dress fits Sofia at the end of the story and everyone is happy. [ ]
- Very Hairy Christmas, A
- By Susan Lowell. Rio Chico . $15.95.
- Juan, Josefina and José are three little javelinas waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. They are baking him special spicy cookies! Santa comes down the chimney that night with a “Huff-Puff!,” then corrects himself, saying, “I mean - Ho-Ho-Ho. “ Santa samples the javelina gingerbread cookies and howls with a sneeze, a shriek and a siren, “Holy jalapeños!” as he munches into the chile pepper-spiced cookies. Smoke blows out of his ears and his fake beard and mustache fly off, revealing that he is actually a sly Coyote. “A very Hairy Christmas to All!” shouts Josefina Javelina as she gives Coyote a very hairy kiss. [ ]
- Whose Tail on the Trail at Grand Canyon?
- By Midji Stephenson. Grand Canyon Association. $12.95.
- A mom and dad and their two children visit the Grand Canyon and watch as various animals hop and run away from them as they hike the trail. They try and guess whose tail they see on the trail, while readers try and guess, too, by observing the back end of the animal as it disappears around the next page. This entertaining hike down the Canyon is written by Midji Stephenson, a retired children’s librarian and volunteer at the Grand Canyon National Park with illustrations by the very talented artist, Kenneth Spengler. [ ]