Synopses & Reviews
In simple words and sun-drenched paintings, Alma Flor Ada and Simón Silva take us into the fields and orchards, and into the lives of the people who work them. Simple poems in Spanish and English, one for each letter of the Spanish alphabet, describe the wonder of the vegetable and fruit farms. Together, the poems and the rich illustrations celebrate the glory of nature and the hearts of all who dedicate their lives to working the land.
About the Author
In Her Own Words...
"I was born in Cuba and spent my childhood in a wonderful big old house in the outskirts of the city of Camaguey. If I went out by the front door, I was on the street. But if I went out by the back door, I was in the magical world of trees, cows, the horse, and the river, a world that always enchanted me. There were generous trees ready to share their fruits: sweet and sour cashews, fragrant guavas, delicious mangoes, tamarindo, nispero, caimito. There was the river full of life: turtles sunning on rocks, herons fishing for minnows, bullfrogs jumping into the water. On the other side of the river, an old man and his son made bricks and tiles out of the red clay, and I spent countless hours watching them.
"I was always trying to make sense of the world around me and continually asking questions: Why were so many people poor? What did ants do inside their anthills? But I also spent many hours lost in the world of books. Some of my favorite authors were the Russian writer Condesa de Segur (Sophie?s Adventures and The General Durakin), the Swiss writer Johanna Spyri (Heidi and Lorenzo and Margarita and Children of the Alps), the Italian Edmundo d?Amicis (Corazon), and the American Louisa May Alcott. Almost all the books I read as a child were translations from other languages, so it isn?t surprising that as I grew up I began to translate many books from English into Spanish.
"My grandmother was an exceptional storyteller who could make her stories so real that I felt I was actually there. My father loved to tell stories, too. Every night he invented a new story to explain how fire was used for the first time or how someone thought of making shoes or how to build a house or to make a canoe.
"Writing is for me a great joy, a way to re-create some of the feelings I had as a child: the wonder, the joy, the excitement, the surprise. It?s also a way to say what I feel today. Above all, it?s a chance to make a little piece of the world?that contained within the pages of a book?just and kind, beautiful and diverse, welcoming to all.
"I feel I?m very fortunate to be able to do in life just what I love to do: write and teach. To see the books I have written in the hands of any child is one of the greatest joys I can think of. To see them in the little hands of my grand-children is a gift beyond belief."