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ANGELS RIDE BIKES by Francisco X. Alarcón


and Other Fall Poems

by Francisco X. Alarcón

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-89239-160-X
Publisher: Children's Book Press

Alarc¢n summons the Los Angeles of his youth in this fine collection of poems that are rendered in both English and Spanish, and complemented by Gonzalez’s merry painted photographs. In unrhymed verse, Alarc¢n celebrates a city that provided opportunities for his large family. Riding high here is the love of a mother and father who toil like demons while offering encouragement, protection, and warmth; of a grandmother, a wise and emboldening soul, who steps in when his parents are at work; of the neighborhood, with its memorable characters; and of the markets and the playful images they offer. Bananas make him think that “each bunch is a natural wonder/a splendid baseball glove.” Not all is fruity and bright in Alarc¢n’s world, e.g., the work his parents do is hard and mean, it is not easy for him to make the adjustment to a new school, and the city’s pollution: “from a window I look at the dirty gray air/I imagine trees crying in distress.” A tribute to a city, and to abiding family love. (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)