Books by Ethriam Cash Brammer

Released: Nov. 30, 2004

Caraballo's rhyming text and Cruz's detailed, full-bleed illustrations convey the warmth of the grandchild/grandparent relationship while also introducing young readers to life in Puerto Rico. The young boy who narrates begins and ends with the declaration that his grandparents are "mi vida" ("my life"), translated into English as "my universe" for rhyming and metrical reasons. In between these bookends he takes readers on a tour of his life with them, playing together in their yard; cooking to prepare for weekend fiestas; walking along the beach or through famous buildings; and watching the cruise ships come into harbor. Their literal wanderings meander through the year, signaled by the appearance of "Christmas" and other seasonal words. The absence of the boy's parents makes this useful for looking at alternative families, though the text is just vague enough to conclude that he might not live with his grandparents full-time. The tight rhyming of the Spanish text, compared to the somewhat awkward and irregular rhyme of the English, tips readers off that the Spanish is the original, but in both languages the familial love and the love of home are apparent. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2004

Brammer's nostalgic tale, a grown-up's remembrance of a boyhood trip to his grandparents' ranch, zeroes in on the excitement of encountering an unknown place for the first time and of enjoying a family reunion full of cousins, aunts, and uncles. Family stories—of buying the ranch "for a song," of eggs that gently roll down from the chickens' nests in a tree—are recounted with a nod and a wink, and the celebratory atmosphere of the barbecue supper and impromptu "jam session" of the men is warm and full of relaxed, summer happiness. Cruz's full-page, full-color illustrations face the text, with English above and Spanish below. The illustrations combine an almost photographic detail with an appealingly naïf depth perception which makes some parts of the scene feel three-dimensional, while others are more typical. Likely to be especially useful in studies of family and rural life, as well as in comparisons of the ways in which students' families resemble and differ from Tito's large, expressive Latino family. (Picture book. 1-4)Read full book review >