MOLA

CUNA LIFE STORIES AND ART

In the San Blas Islands off the northern coast of Panama, Cuna women make a unique and beautiful form of art called molas, in which layers of fabric of various textures are sewn together, then snipped and stitched into pictures comprised of bold forms and bright colors. They wear these on special occasions. Presilla (with Gloria Soto, Life Around the Lake, p. 452, etc.) tells the history of the Cuna, and in the molas they have created, vibrantly presents their entire culture, from lullabies to cooking to cosmology. Historical and cultural materials quoted in the text will expand readers' understanding, but the real glory of the book is the full- color parade of pictures of the molas. An accomplished, unusual look at a little-known culture. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8050-3801-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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VOTE!

After the sorry example of the 2000 presidential election, it’s good to be reminded of the simple beauty—and hard-won right—of voting for a candidate. And Christelow goes farther in this primer on the process of electing a candidate. Simple language, gay color, and humorous subplots make for an appealing introduction to electoral politics, and she wisely complements her somewhat dry explanatory text with a typically funny word-bubble story of one woman’s mayoral campaign. Readers learn about political parties and polls, voter registration, to be wary of campaign advertising, the right to recounts, and are urged to conduct research into the candidates. There’s also a very handy timeline of voting rights that conveys the eye-opening evolution of democracy in the US. Impressively, Christelow gives to each individual vote a sense of importance—an act of participation that nestles in the heart of democracy. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-24754-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2003

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A delightful celebration.

YOUR NAME IS A SONG

A girl learns to appreciate her long name and the diverse names of others.

A Black child wearing cornrows braided into an afro puff watches her classmates in the schoolyard playing handball. Momma arrives, wearing a bright headwrap, and asks about her first day of school. The girl is upset because no one could say her name—not even the teacher. Reflecting the title, Momma tells her to tell her teacher her name is a song. As they walk through the streets, swaying and dancing to the sounds of street musicians and music from cars, Momma sings names from many different cultures. (Each name is spelled phonetically in parentheses for ease of caregivers reading aloud.) The next day, “the girl didn’t want to go to school, but she had songs to teach.” She even shows her teacher that “Miss Anderson” is a song. This lovely celebration of African American culture, featuring a Muslim family, offers a fresh way to look at the tradition of creating new names; Momma says, “Made-up names come from dreamers. Their real names were stolen long ago so they dream up new ones. They make a way out of no way, make names out of no names—pull them from the sky!” A glossary notes the origins and meanings of the names included in the text, with a note to always listen closely to how a person pronounces their name. The dynamic, pastel-hued illustrations reflect energy and strength.

A delightful celebration. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-943147-72-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: The Innovation Press

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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