Talking with Mother Earth / Hablando con Madre Tierra
Written by Jorge Argueta
Publication Date April 24, 2006
An Americas Award Commended Title
Raw, honest and powerful, these moving bilingual poems by noted Salvadoran poet Jorge Argueta explore a young native boy's connection to Mother Earth and how he is healed from the terrible wounds of racism he has endured. Tetl has learned from his grandmother about the spirituality of his ancestors, about how they viewed the earth as alive with sacred meaning. This helps him move from doubt and fear, created by the taunts of other children, to self-acceptance and a discovery of his love for nature.
Mountains, wind, corn and stones all speak to Tetl, almost seeming to vibrate with life. He feels deep roots in them and, through them, he learns to speak and sing. They reveal his Nahuatl self and he realizes that he is special, beautiful and sacred.These gripping poems have something to teach us all, perhaps especially those who have been either intentionally or casually cruel or racist, as well as those who have been the victims of racism.
Runner-up for the International Latino Book Awards - Best Children's Picture Book - Bilingual 2007
Selected for the Americas Award Commended List 2007
Selected for the Bank Street College Children's Library Best Children's Books of the Year 2007
Selected for the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry (Honor Book) 2007
Jorge Argueta is an award-winning author of picture books and poetry for young children. He has won the International Latino Book Award, the Américas Book Award, the NAPPA Gold Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award for Multicultural Fiction for Juveniles. His books have also been named to the Américas Award Commended List, the USBBY Outstanding International Books Honor List, Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Books and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices. A native Salvadoran and Pipil Nahua Indian, Jorge spent much of his life in rural El Salvador. He now lives in San Francisco, California.
Lucia Angela Perez
A Texas native and daughter of late artist Gloria Osuna Perez, Lucia Angela Perez is a visual artist with a degree in fine arts from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has illustrated several children's books including Little Gold Star by Joe Hayes, Every Child by Tish Hinojosa, and Talking with Mother Earth.
"In a clear child's voice, Argueta's poems...are intense, honest and moving....Perez's vibrant pastel art, on a bright, multicolored palette, perfectly complements Argueta's poems....Don't hesitate to read and show this beautiful book to young children. It is for them, and for all of us." Multicultural Review
"This deeply moving collection of poems by award-winning poet Argueta is a joyful celebration of his Nahuatl heritage...Like the simple yet vibrant free-verse stanza, the raw illustrations are deeply expressive." Criticas Magazine
"This literary offering stands out for its beauty and depth of expression...Perez's illustrations are colorful, detailed, and appealing, incorporating many indigenous icons...A unique and lovely collection." School Library Journal
"This very organic sense of identity is just right for kids beginning to articulate who they are and how they fit into this world." Toronto Star