Birthday in the Barrio

                         Birthday in the Barrio (Cumpleanos en el Barrio)

                                           Birthday in the Barrio

Themes: Bilingual, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Conflict resolution, Cultural diversity, Family Traditions, Holidays & Celebrations, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican Interest, Neighbors, Self Esteem/Identity, Sharing & Giving

LEE & LOW books:

 
Miami Herald:
“…Mayra Lazara Dole has woven the texture of Cuban Miami into Chavi’s story…. depicting Miami’s famous street party in all its vibrant glory.”  

School Library Journal: “…prose, in both English and Spanish, is exuberant, making use of colloquial expressions that reflect the nature of the Cubano neighborhoods of Miami.”

Booklist/: “… intelligent, and resourceful protagonist. …unstoppable enthusiasm… wise children.”

Kirkus Reviews: “The warmth of family and community suffuses the tale and crosses all cultural boundaries.”  

Midwest Book Review: ” Chavi proves that with a little determination and creativity she can do anything.” 

Children’s Literature: “…. narrative entertains and creates a picture of neighborhood unity… useful in teaching teamwork and initiative.”

 San Francisco Chronicle: “… rollicking fun.’ … 

 National Education Association: “…colorful bilingual book with lively Miami barrio scenes…” 

 Bayviews: “…refreshingly, it is the children who lead the adults to the resolution. Best suited for one-on-one sharing, this family portrayal is a must for any library serving a Latino community with a need for primary grade picture books.”  

Foreword Review: “Picturesque words enliven the text… Spanish words add ethnic flavor to the English part… The compassion that the characters show for people who are homeless promotes good values. …This lively adventure demonstrates to youngsters that in spite of plans going wrong, hope remains for whatever one strives to accomplish.”

 Diario Las Americas: “… lively narration written with talent and love.”

 Rethinking Schools Curriculum Resources: “…by bringing the community together to help a homeless shelter, Chavi shows what working together can accomplish.” 

 Tolerance Magazine/Tolerance.org: “… Children will love the creative use of language.”

 Book Notes Center for Children/YA: “…a festive story of friendship and community.  Dole’s rhythmic language make this an enjoyable story for young readers.”

 Candela Boston Review: “… Chavi shakes land and sky… encourages Latino unity and life as a community …  great option to help your children practice English and Spanish reading. Our children will get the flavor of a Hispanic celebration with music, dancing and of course ‘puerco asado.  … a perfect fusion of lively illustrations and narrative.” 

Latin Beat: “No challenge is ever too big for Chavi, who with the help of her neighborhood friends and their families, organizes a spectacular street party…  …the cultural references are vividly and naturally imbedded throughout the text.  Chavi’s adventures are uplifting and inspiring….”  

From the Critics for Drum, Chavi, Drum!:

Orange County Register: “Confidant Chavi and Rosario make fine role models . . . It’s a fun, inspiring tale.”  

School Library Journal: “The exuberant text is alive with rhythms, and Chavi is a heartwarming heroine who compares favorably to other girls who think outside the box…’” 

Booklist/American Library Association: …Tonel depicts Miami’s famous festival with bright colors, exaggerated shapes, and proportions that match the lively words, which introduce Chavi’s extended family and ‘the largest Latino festival in the nation.’”  

The Washington Post: A lot of kids are reading books such as “Drum, Chavi, Drum!” They help kids learn a second language and learn about another culture.  

Multicultural Review: “This children’s story builds self-affirmation, celebrates diversity, and breaks away from stereotypes… For the adult reader, the book reinforces traditional Cuban and Latino values and captures the cultural vibrancy and energy felt in the Miami area.”   

Diario Las Americas: “… Mayra L. Dole narrates with passion and talent.  This book needs to be in all libraries, schools and homes. It gathers, in addition, important aspects of the Cuban culture: the sense of extended family, the love of music, work ethics; customs, dominoes, and personages…”  

Midwest Book Review:  “Chavi brings her entire Cuban American community together in a birthday celebration like Miami has never seen before!”  

Tolerance.org: “… a young girl wants to play drums in the Calle Ocho festival, a street party that celebrates Miami’s Cuban culture. Chavi is told that she can’t play drums and becomes the first girl to play in the festival.”  

Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute: A contemporary realistic fiction tale written by a Cuban-born writer and Senegalese djembe drum player; djembes are often traditionally played by males throughout West African and Caribbean cultures. Dole’s work sends a rhythmically empowering message to young girls everywhere to challenge that reality! 

Resource Center of the Americas:  “…Colorful, up-beat, and exciting.” 

ASU: “Mayra L. Dole’s portrayal of the feisty Chavi will warm hearts of all ages with her antics and exuberance.”    

Sesame Street en Espanol: Consejos para las familias/ Episode 4077 Grover global:  Vayan de viaje con Grover a Puerto Rico donde aprende a hacer un instrumento llamado un güiro hecho de una calabaza vinatera.”.

Latin Beat: “… The amount of culture weaved into a book of 32 pages is one of the things that impressed me most. Additionally, the descriptive sounds of Chavi’s drumming bring the story to life. This is a definite read-aloud!”

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