45. My Abuelita, by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Yuyi Morales. 2010 Pura Belpre Illustrator award. A very charming book about a young boy who watches -- and helps -- his grandmother (his abuelita) get ready for her job. But what is her job? The reader doesn't find out until the very end. But the ritual she goes through to prepare for that job make for some amusing and sweet illustrations. The imagery is just charming-- for example, when the grandmother compares herself to a pumpkin, and the mirror reflects a pumpkin. I also like the feel of the comfortable routine between the two.
46. Federico Garcia Lorca, by Georgina Lazaro, with illustrations by Enrique S. Moreiro. 2010 Pura Belpre honor book. This was a challenge because the copy I received from the library was entirely in Spanish; I don't know if there are any with both Spanish and English, or just English. I know Spanish tolerably well, but I'm rather rusty. Still, this would be a good book for students studying the language. At any rate, this book tells the story of Lorca, a well-known poet and theater director, as a child. The illustrations are soft and warm, sometimes somewhat fanciful, like a memory.
47. Red Sings from Treetops: a Year in Color, by Joyce Sidman, with illustrations by Pamela Zagarenski. 2010 Caldecott Honor Book. A really neat, very different book on colors. Great for children who have mastered the basics of color, and may want to be shown a different way of thinking about them. The whimsical illustrations go nicely with the free-verse poetry. I also love how each color is described through the various season, some more dominant and different times. I also really liked how it ends like it starts, a complete circle. The illustrations are playful, with the characters dressed in motley clothes and wearing crowns. It is as if they were in a continuous Mardi Gras celebration.
48. Book Fiesta, by Pat Mora, with illustrations by Rafael Lopez. 2010 Pura Belpre Illustrator Award. A charming book which celebrates both Spanish and reading. Text is in Spanish and English. The illustrations are bold and colorful; this would be a good story-hour book. I like how the backgrounds reflect the journeys the books are taking our young characters.
49. Diego: Bigger than Life, by Carmen Bernier-Grand, with illustrations by David Diaz. 2010 Pura Belpre Honor Book and Illustrator Honor book. This book on Diego Riveras, well-known artist, is told through colorful illustrations and free verse, a series of chronological poems. The illustrations are colorful, stencil-like, almost abstract at times. It also includes a synopsis of Diego's life, childhood, his various relationships (including with fellow artist Frida Kahlo) and his art. An excellent book for the older "reluctant reader." I would save this for older grade school (at least fifth grade) and middle school. Diego's poetic "voice" is honest in his many relationships with his mistresses, the pain of his losses, death and other serious subjects. Also, I think much of the book (such as Diego's delving into cubism) would go over the younger reader's head.
50. Gracias Thanks, by Pat Mora, with illustrations by John Parra. 2010 Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor book. I loved this book! Told in Spanish and English. From the start of the day to bedtime and dreamland, the little boy in the story finds many things to be thankful for. From ladybugs to ocean waves to family, the boy's day adventures are shown through the simple but colorful illustrations.
51. The Lion and the Mouse, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. 2010 Caldecott Award. This is a beautifully illustrated, nearly wordless retelling of the classic fable about the lion and the mouse. A lion takes pity on a small mouse, which in turn saves his life later. The illustrations are lovely, very realistic, but the two main characters have an almost human expression. I love the illustration when the lion is looking rather sheepishly at a mouse after he is trapped in a hunter's net. The few words used are animal noises, which blend into the illustrations.
52. All the World, by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee. 2010 Caldecott Honor book. This book's rhyming story is matched with classic-feeling illustrations. The action goes from a beach to a farm, to a market and home. There's nice repetition with the phrases, and I can picture reading this as a bedtime story. Thought the ending went on a bit long, though.