My Shoes And I = Mis Zapatos Y Yo
My Shoes And I = Mis Zapatos Y Yo
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Annotation: René, who lives in El Salvador, was thrilled when his mother sent him a new pair of shoes from the United States. Now, René, with his new shoes and his father, is setting off on the arduous journey north to join his mom.
Catalog Number: #183467
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-558-85884-9
ISBN 13: 978-1-558-85884-8
Dewey: 921
Language: Spanish
Bilingual: Yes
School Library Journal
Gr 25 Wearing the new shoes his mother has sent, a young boy and his father embark on a difficult journey across three countries to reach her in the United States. The story is based on the author's own experience of leaving El Salvador and going across Guatemala and Mexico with his father in 1985. Wearing his new shoes, young René leaves his home and friends on a windy day. In Guatemala he is chased by hungry dogs, and in Mexico City Papá loses his wallet. They take buses, walk for miles, sleep in a dilapidated trailer, climb mountains, and finally swim across a river. Meanwhile, his shoes get dusty, soaked, muddy, and develop round, horrible holes in the soles. Finally, when they come out of the river, Mamá is there waiting for them and his shoes are with him. Together, they cross the border. Vanden Broeck's color saturated, textured illustrations capture the long and arduous journey in all its harshness and reality. First published in 2010, this new edition comes in bilingual format. The Spanish translation reads as well as its English counterpart. Pair this book with Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta. VERDICT Sadly, this topic continues to be as heartbreaking and important today as when the author first undertook his trip 34 years ago. A must-read. Lucia Acosta, Children's Literature Specialist, Princeton, NJ
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A pair of shoes serves as the constant in a grueling trek across three borders.Young René and Papá together begin a northbound journey, by foot and bus, away from their native El Salvador. As they cross into Guatemala, then Mexico, and finally the United States, the story repeats a chorus of "Uno, dos, tres," representing the number of borders they must cross. It is uncertain whether the father-son team is crossing these borders with required documentation until they are waist-deep in a rushing river before joining Mamá on the other side. If there's a moment when readers realize the perils of their journey, it's here. Nevertheless, Colato Laínez handles the narration gently. Framing the narrative deliberately and at the center of Vanden Broeck's illustrations are René's shoes, often depicted from low angles or bird's-eye views. Brush-stroked spreads depicting various landscapes—lush, green scenes, muddy trails, mountains, cities, the river—are reminiscent of Central American artwork often depicted on murals, souvenir trinkets, or postcards. Not until the last spread does Vanden Broeck finally unveil René's smiling face in its entirety. The bilingual narrative is told in short sentences and enlivened with repetition, running metaphors, and sound effects, easily engaging readers.Inspired by the author's own story, this tale of a young boy's arduous escape serves as a crucial, insightful, and timely light shone on a sensitive, highly relevant subject. (author's note) (Bilingual picture book. 6-10)
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Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (5/1/19)
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: 2-5

Young René's mother has sent him a new pair of shoes from the United States. He loves his new shoes. "They walk everywhere I walk. They jump every time I jump. They run as fast as me. We always cross the finish line at the same time."René-with his new shoes-and his father set off on the long journey to meet his mother in the United States. He says goodbye to his friends in El Salvador, and "Uno, dos, tres, my shoes and I are ready to go." The trip is difficult. They take buses and walk across El Salvador, into Guatemala and then into Mexico. His brand-new shoes lose their shine, turning dirty and gray. They become elephants, pushing against the wind; race cars, fleeing hungry dogs; swim shoes, escaping floods; and submarines, navigating through sticky mud. When holes appear on the soles of his shoes, his father won't let him give up. "René, my strong boy, we want to be with Mamá."Sharing his own experiences, René Colato Laínez's moving bilingual picture book brings to life the experiences of many young children who make the arduous journey from Central America to the United States in search of a better life.

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