Books by Magaly Morales

Released: May 1, 2010

Chavela's joy is to chew all kind of gums. She loves blowing bubbles in different shapes and colors. One day, Chavela and her grandmother find a special gum at a small store in Market Street: Magic Chicle. When Chavela gets home, she chews her magic gum and, taking a deep breath, blows an enormous bubble that lifts her from the floor and carries her through the sky from the mountains of California and over the Southwest to her Abuelita's town, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Chavela alights in a rainforest where the chicleros are making the magic gum from the sapodilla tree. It's a lovely, child-friendly tale that will entertain the little ones as well as exposing them to both ecological and cultural themes. The text and book design make it an excellent selection for storytime. Unfortunately, Morales (A Piñata in a Pine Tree, 2009, etc.) repeats the same facial features, clothing style and range of colors used in her prior works, generalizing the story's pleasing geographical specificity. (Picture book. 4-6) Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 14, 2009

"On the first day of Christmas my amiga gave to me," sings a little girl. Her rhymes, mainly in Spanish, increase in syllables and words with the number of objects she is receiving, from the titular piñata to doce angelitos celebrando. Mora blends Latino holiday traditions of her native Southwest with some from Mexico. The gifts are ethnic dishes like pastelitos, ornaments like paper lanterns—luminarias—and spinning tops—trompos—and Mexican folk-art-styled figures. Morales's acrylic paintings complement the song, showing, in the background, family members engaged in activities that are revealed on the last page along with the identity of the amiga—a new little sister. The inclusion of numerals and the pronunciation of the Spanish words, along with a concluding glossary and pronunciation guide, facilitates reading and makes it absolutely entertaining. (Picture book. 6-9)Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2009

In any Latino barrio, the highlight of a summer afternoon filled with the sweet and savory smells of flowers and crispy tacos is the arrival of the paleta vendor with his deliciously cool fruit popsicles. Made in a variety of flavors and colors, the paleta can be the inspiration for fun and creativity with old and new friends. Purple tongues, blue mustaches, a palette of swirly, drippy art—all are second to the real enjoyment of a paleta: "to…/ lick it and slurp it / and sip it and munch it / and gobble it all down." Tafolla's English text sprinkles easily recognizable Spanish words throughout, creating a parallel to the Anglo neighborhood ice-cream truck in a very Latin setting. Morales's ethnically detailed acrylic paintings in earthen tones against primary colors help to identify the key Spanish words and augment the circular story pattern, in which the introductory verses repeat in the final pages. A simultaneous dual-language edition presents a parallel Spanish translation that accompanies the English text (ISBN: 978-1-58246-289-9). (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >