BIRTHDAY IN THE BARRIO/CUMPLEAÑOS EN EL BARRIO by Mayra L. Dole

BIRTHDAY IN THE BARRIO/CUMPLEAÑOS EN EL BARRIO

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Vibrant colors, exaggerated heads and faces, and a childlike hyper-emotion characterize this story of a loving Cuban community in Miami and the two young girls who do everything in their power to combine a quinces with a benefit for a homeless shelter. Because her father is out of work and money is very tight, Lazarita is faced with turning 15 without the Latina’s traditional coming-of-age party. But her little sister and her sister’s friend refuse to accept defeat, as they convince (or is it manipulate?) neighborhood adults to offer their services to a party that will honor Lazarita as well as raise money for the shelter. The typeface is occasionally squeezed, stretched, warped, and colored to reflect the girls’ emotions and the descriptive nature of the words themselves, and the brilliantly colored illustrations reflect the “barrios” of southern Florida as well as the semi-tropical islands from which so many of its people originated. The importance of a girl’s 15th birthday will be obvious to Latinos, but the story provides clues for non-Latinos as well. In addition, the warmth of family and community suffuses the tale and crosses all cultural boundaries. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-89239-194-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Children's Book Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2004