Books by Consuelo Méndez

Released: April 1, 1993

A straightforward bilingual depiction of the variety of responses to Mexican ``illegals'' by Chicanos already living in Texas. Though her friends' first reaction on seeing Joaqu°n is hostility toward the young mojadito (wetback), Prietita warns them off and befriends him, planning to take him to the herb woman for treatment for the sores he hides under long sleeves. A visit from the Border Patrol hastens the event; the herb woman hides Joaqu°n and his mother until the danger is past, then shows Prietita how to help her new friend. What's special about this simple story is the realism with which the circumstances are presented. The migra represent the law, and there's nothing negative in their depiction (``even'' the Chicano migra laughs when someone makes a joke), but Prietita's kindness is clearly what is valued here. In MÇndez's powerful mixed-media illustrations, freely drawn graphite lines define the strong, planar faces and the poverty of the surroundings; appropriately, pervasive bleak gray is only somewhat tempered by the hot, bright colors of Latino clothing and the desert. An authentic portrayal; an excellent basis for discussion of an important issue. (Picture book. 4-10) Read full book review >