children, dance, Mexico

Danza! Amalia Hernández and Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet

Author: Duncan Tonatiuh
Genre: Children, Mexico, Dance
ISBN: 978-1-4197-2532-6
Pages: 32
Price: $18.95

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Everyone expected Amalia Hernández to grow up to be a teacher, just like her mother and grandmother. But when Ami saw folk dancers put on a show in a town square, she was hooked. She decided on the spot that she would be a dancer, too.

Soon Ami was enrolled in ballet classes, on her way to becoming a talented dancer. But ballet wasn’t enough. Ami wanted to add elements of the folk dances she loved so much into her ballet routines. After spending time traveling around the country, learning as much as she could from the local dancers, she developed performances to showcase them. The people loved them, and her dance troupe grew. Soon El Ballet Folklórico de México was traveling around the world.

Amalia Hernández was a pioneer in creating performances inspired by the folk dances of Mexico. Although she originally envisioned spending her time in the classroom, she devoted her life to teaching her students the beautiful dances she developed. Danza! is a wonderful story about this interesting and accomplished choreographer.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, Mexico

Juan’s Sweet and Spicy Memory

Author: Hee Jung Yoon
Illustrator: Christopher Corr
Publisher: Tantan Publishing
Genre: Children / Mexican culture
ISBN: 978-1-939248-12-1
Pages: 38
Price: $17.95

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Juan is excited to spend the day with his friend Pancho, celebrating Cinco de Mayo. He begins the day by eating tortillas that his mother and grandmother prepared by hand, and then goes to the plaza, where people are enjoying the festival. Soon he and Pancho meet a tourist family, and they decide to give them a tour of some of the places they enjoy.

First, they visit Juan’s father at the taco restaurant. Next stop is an art museum, followed by Tequila village. More food and a mariachi band ends their fun-filled day. When the tourists leave, Juan is sad to see them go.

Juan’s Sweet and Spicy Memory has Juan leading “tourist” readers on a colorful journey through Mexican culture. Fun facts about Mexico and its cuisine are included within the story itself and in the back pages. Kids will enjoy making this journey with Juan and the tourist family.

Reviewer: Alice Berger