Books by Terry Ybáñez

Released: Dec. 1, 1997

A lilting Spanish text and its weak English counterpart relate a cumulative tale about the decorating of a tree, and provide a good argument against the use of bilingual texts. ``Look at the beautiful Christmas tree/with the bright candle/Grandma lit,/the candy cane/Grandpa hung,/and the sleigh/Uncle Irineo painted!'' cannot compare to ``¤QuÇ lindo el †rbol de Navidad/adornado con la vela/que encendi¢ Abuela,/con el caramelo/que le colg¢ Abuelo/y con el trineo/de t°o Irineo!'' These events are illustrated over several pages. The text is so brief that there are only five couplets in the last appearance of the rhyme, and only five ornaments on the large tree. A final page expresses the family's happiness that Christmas has arrived. A lengthy note describes various customs of the season from the author's childhood. The perspectives in the art are flat, more amateurish than naive, with static compositions that do not convey the joy expressed in the text. An unfortunate effort in almost every respect. (Picture book. 3-6) Read full book review >
HAIRS/PELITOS by Sandra Cisneros
Released: Oct. 3, 1994

Cisneros (Woman Hollering Creek, 1991, etc.) reprises a lyrical vignette from The House on Mango Street (not reviewed). The narrator contrasts the hair of a family's six members ("My papa's hair is like a broom, all up in the air. And me, my hair is lazy. It never obeys barrettes or bands"), concluding with a longer description of her mother's hair. The final image is of the narrator, as a girl, warm and safe in Mama's bed, where the sweet aroma of Mama's hair reminds her of the smell of rising bread. A brief yet intimate family portrait. Ybanez debuts in children's books with sophisticated, freely rendered portrayals of the family members in brilliant colors, with some of the faces in tones such as violet or jade that nonetheless seem to suggest natural shades. Delicate background swirls reiterate Mama's embracing ringlets; childlike sketches in the bright, flat borders (which also incorporate the bilingual text) hint at characters' interests. Lightweight but pleasant. Read full book review >