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Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems / Jitomates Risuenos y otros poemas de primavera Hardcover – June 3, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 5?Coming out in the same season as Alma Flor Ada's Gathering the Sun (Lothrop, 1997), Tomatoes faces some stiff competition. Nonetheless, this collection of verses in English and Spanish, illustrated with bold, primitive paintings, carves a lighthearted niche all its own. Most of the poems are short, but even the longer ones are composed of telegraphic one- and two-syllable lines. The effect is that of quick snapshots of moments in life. The subjects?food, weather, plants, dreams?are all familiar ones. The selections scan equally well in English and in Spanish. This is an excellent teaching tool for units on poetry composition and on colorful use of language. Of special utility in bilingual classrooms, this book provides an amusing way to explore the same ideas in two languages. For more depth in both poem content and artwork, Gathering the Sun is clearly superior, but the books complement each other well. Both are good introductions to the serious and involved poetry of Lori Carlson's Cool Salsa (Holt, 1994), which is more issue oriented and challenging.?Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 5-8. This bilingual collection of poems by Chicano poet Alarcon celebrates spring and the fruits of family and sunshine. As with "Chile / El chile" ("sometimes / a bite is all it takes / for a supernova / to explode"), the poems are short and simple imagistic reflections exuberantly expanded by Gonzalez in colorful double-page illustrations featuring Latino children and a grandmother frolicking with playful pets beneath a smiling sun. Picture-book poetry for collections seeking Latino literature or just a burst of California sunshine. Annie Ayres
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Series: The Magical Cycle of the Seasons Series
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Children's Book Press; Third Printing edition (June 3, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892391391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892391394
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Francisco X. Alarcón is an award-winning poet and educator whoi was born in Los Angeles, California, and is the author of eleven volumes of poetry, including, FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF NIGHT: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (University of Arizona Press 2002), SONNETS TO MADNESS AND OTHER MISFORTUNES (Creative Arts Book Company 2001), SNAKE POEMS: AN AZTEC INVOCATION (Chronicle Books 1992), DE AMOR OSCURO / OF DARK LOVE (Moving Parts Press 2001).

He is also an acclaimed children's author who is able to write his books both in English and Spanish. His most recent book of bilingual poetry for children celebrates a natural wonder of the world, ANIMAL POEMS OF THE IGUAZÚ (Children's Book Press 2008) and it was selected as a Notable Book for a Global Society by the International Reading Association, and as an Américas Award Commended Title by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs. His previous bilingual book POEMS TO DREAM TOGETHER (Lee & Low Books 2005) was awarded the 2006 Jane Addams Honor Book Award.

The seasons of the year inspired Francisco to write four award-wining books of bilingual poems published by Children's Book Press of San Francisco. LAUGHING TOMATOES AND OTHER SPRING POEMS (1997) was awarded the 1997 Pura Belpré Honor Award by the American Library Association and the National Parenting Publications Gold Medal. He also received the 2000 Pura Belpré Honor Award for his second book of bilingual poems for children, FROM THE BELLYBUTTON OF THE MOON AND OTHER SUMMER POEMS (1998), and the 2002 Pura Belpré Honor Award for his fourth book of bilingual poems for children, IGUANAS IN THE SNOW AND OTHER WINTER POEMS (2001). He has published another book for children, ANGELS RIDE BIKES AND OTHER FALL POEMS (1999).

Francisco has been a finalist nominated for Poet Laureate of California in two occasions in the past five years. He teaches at the University of California, Davis.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a bilingual teacher I was thrilled to discover such a wonderful book. It can be compared to Carmen Lomas Garza's book, Family Pictures. The author, Francisco X. Alarcon weaves cultural, historical, spiritual and nature themes into poems that sing from the page, touch the soul and even inspire reflection. Each poem shares a snapshot of life - bringing back some of my personal memories. The bright, colorful illustrations by Maya Gonzalez complement the poems and further bring them to life with a Latin flair. My sixth grade students enjoyed this as well as my four year old nephew. I am sure it will become a timeless treasure in everyone's library.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My third grade students loved this book! Only a handful are English language Learners but all the kids got a kick out of the gorgeous illustrations and the fun poetry. We read the poems together in both English and Spanish and the kids had fun painting their own impressions of the poetry. I strongly recommend this book for any K - 6 classroom!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Jacobs VINE VOICE on December 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is such a great book, one of the best children's poetry books I've come across. The poems are filled with light, happiness and observations on the beauty of life, including the sun, corn, roots, dew and chili peppers. Each poem is presented in both English and Spanish and the illustrations are bright and colorful. I started this book with a young toddler and look forward to having it as a staple in our home library over the coming years.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Laughing Tomatoes makes my toes wiggle for a future of multi-lingual literature for the world, - children, to begin with; it's a way to foster mutual understanding, appreciation and tolerance between and among different people. Alarcon's words in English and Spanish are charming, age-appropriate for first readers, and the illustration art follows suit, with layouts that keep your eyes in play on every page. Mil Gracias/ A million thanks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By catungawandave on July 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good stuff here
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