Friday, February 8, 2008

Intro. to Children and Their Lit.: Los Gatos Black on Halloween

Montes, Marisa. 2006. Los Gatos Black on Halloween. Illus. by Yuyi Morales. NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC. ISBN:0805074295.

*Winner of 2008 Pura Belpré Award for illustrations*


Under an “October’s luna, full and bright” a parade of witches, fantasmas, vampires, esqueletos, and corpses gather for a monster ball. In this creative rhyming story, Montes and Morales bring together Halloween and Dia de los Muertos with a blend of English and Spanish words that curve and weave through the warm and cool earthy and dark colors of the illustrations. With soft edges and textural brushstrokes, the spooky and surreal sceneries, characters and the playful text build the tension up to the very end where the “brujas are booging” and the wolfman is somersaulting to the “unseen dedos-fingers-play[ing] Forgotten music.” When three raps echo through the hall the readers learn of the most scariest things of all – “human niños at the door! Of all the horrors they have seen, the WORST are kids on Halloween!” With a glossary for pronunciation and meaning in the back for those new to Spanish, Los Gatos Black on Halloween is a fun and easy read for all to enjoy on a dark night or on a bright sunny day.

*Read more books with a Halloween theme: Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler and Illus. by S.D. Schindler, Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and Illus. by S.D. Schindler, and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams.
*Read books about Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead: Maria Molina and the Days of the Dead by Kathleen Krull and Illus. by Enrique O. Sanchez, Gift for Abuelita Celebrating the Day of the Dead/ Un regalo para Abuelita:En celebracion del Dia de los Muertos by Nancy Luenn, and The Spirit of Tio Fernando: A Day of the Dead Story/ El Espiritu De Tio Fernando: Un Historia Del Dia De Los Muertos by Janice Levy and Terese Mlawer.

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