This is a story that touches on cultural awareness, traditions, feelings, confidence, and so many other positive aspects of growing up. It depicts a confident, self-assured little girl who is not shy about being herself. In a world where so much is about conforming to expectations, this book offers little girls as well as not so little girls, a view of what it is to be yourself and show your best self to the world around you.
Have you ever had a child come to you with gum in their hair? NO? You are lucky. As a parent and teacher, I have had the opportunity to deal with this little issue more times than I can count. It is never easy, it is never neat. It is usually funny.
Asked by friends at the playground, at dance class, at dinner…she responds, “I’m from here, from today, same as everyone else.” That answer doesn’t seem to suffice so she asks her Abuelo and his answer is absolutely priceless.
On one particular night, a little firefly, struggling to learn to fly, happens to land on his hand. She has tried and tried to fly but has been unable to accomplish this goal. Seeing the little firefly in his hand, the boy confuses her for a star, and we soon realize that the story is in fact about this special little firefly.
As the youngest daughter of a Cuban family living in Miami, Lila Reyes has everything she could possibly want. She has spent her life learning to make all of the recipes her grandmother taught her while working at their family bakery, La Paloma. Cooking and baking are Lila’s heart and soul; they are the passions that drive her dreams and fuel her goals. The recipes her grandmother taught her go far beyond the kitchen where she spends so much of her time; they are the very beat of her heart.
In her book, The Heart of Mi Familia, Lara seamlessly weaves a story of what it is like to be not only bilingual, but also bicultural, and she does so in a sweet story of a little girl that effortlessly moves between two cultures.
Sili Recio’s description of how her color was used as both a source of joy and encouragement and a weapon to cause pain is both poignant and inspirational. Her message to boys and girls with skin that is “a ribbon of different shades of brown” is especially important under the current climate our country and the world is experiencing.
This is a story that tells about the circle of life and how important it is to feel loved, appreciated, supported, and special. It is a story that teaches us that the greatest gifts we can give our children do not come from a store but rather from our hearts.
Eric Carle, a favorite author for years, and one that has been a big part of my teaching journey, brings us a little gem of a book. Not only do his stories always manage to incorporate a multitude of lessons, they are simply and honestly breathtakingly beautiful. So, when I saw this title, I was naturally curious. As with any Carle work, it does not disappoint.