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.
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