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We Laugh Alike / Juntos nos reímos

"Two groups of friends, one that speaks English, the other speaking Spanish, encounter each other at the park and learn to communicate through the language of play. . . . A sweet demonstration of how friendship can transcend language barriers."

—Kirkus Reviews

Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina

"Bernier-Grand's free-verse picture-book biography follows one of 20th-century ballet's most gifted—and steeliest—ballerinas, tracing her climb to the rank of prima ballerina assoluta and her battle to continue dancing as she loses her sight. Spiced with the Spanish of her native Cuba and full of poignant detail (her husband-to-be, seeing her dance, decides on the spot to study ballet so he can be her partner), Bernier-Grand's account does not flinch from Alonso's complex relationship with the Cuban government ("Why do you find killings by Castro/ more acceptable than killings by Batista?" picket signs read), nor from the physical punishment that is the reality of dance ("Dry blood has glued her toe shoes to her feet"). Colón's portraits have the dramatic scale of Depression-era murals; they capture Alonso's grace and celebrate her strength, too. There's little frilliness; Alonso's will to live and to dance seems like a force of nature, and the story, which follows her from childhood through her professional career and into retirement, has the scope of an adult work."

—Publishers Weekly, starred review

César: Sí, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!

"Aimed at slightly older children than Kathleen Krull's Harvesting Hope (2003), this powerful biography in poems relates incidents in the life of César Chavez with insight and a sense of wonder…The numerous Spanish phrases will make reading aloud a challenge for non-Spanish speakers, but learning to do so is worth the effort…Diaz's softly beautiful and illuminating illustrations add much to this already rich celebration of César's life and legacy."

―Kirkus Reviews

Picasso: I the King, Yo el rey

"This latest of Bernier-Grand's carefully researched and attractively formatted biographies is written, like her recent others, in free-verse style with strong, rhythmic phrasing that draws readers through each of 40 individually titled pieces and into the life of the prolific artist. Quotes by Picasso appear often—with their sources listed in the endnotes."


Frida: ¡Viva la vida! Long Live Life!

"As in her Pura Belpré Award Honor Book César: ¡Sí, se puede! Yes We Can (2005), Bernier-Grand introduces a famous life with lyrical free-verse poems. Nearly every double-page spread pairs a well-reproduce painting by Frida Kahlo with an original poem that defines turning points in the artist's life." 

Kirkus Reviews, starred review.

Diego: Bigger than Life

"Bernier-Grand uses free verse to chronicle the childhood of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, before highligting the passions—art, women, politics—of his adult life. These vignettes are appropriately accompanied by David Diaz's vibrant colored mixed media silhouettes and occasionally—and to great effect—Rivera's own paintings. This offerings makes an excellent companion to the poet's previous books."

—The Horn Book


Sonia Sotomayor: Supreme Court Justice

In elegant free verse, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand describes Sotomayor's remarkable journey from her childhood in the projects near Yankee Stadium to her stellar academic achievements at Ivy League universities to her rapid rise in the legal profession. 

Shake it, Morena! And Other Folklore from Puerto Rico

"A lively author-illustrator team treats young readers to the songs, riddles, stories, and games of their own Puerto Rican childhood. The colorful illustrations reflect the diversity of the people and the charm of their many traditions. Excellent choice for classrooms. Ages 4-up."

—Cynthia Leitich Smith

Our Lady of Guadalupe

"Engel's oil paintings give atmospheric details to this lyrical retelling, which invites readers to step back more than four centuries into the Central American past. Appropriately luminous, the Lady of Guadalupe, as the Madonna is called, lends a contrast to the somber countryside. An author's note provides historical details that flesh out the facts around the Lady's appearance to Juan Diego, who was canonized in 2002 as a saint."

—Patricia Austin, Booklist

In the Shade of the Nispero Tree

When her mother wants her to be part of the high society world in their native Puerto Rico, Teresa attends a private school but loses her best friend.