Xochitl and the flowers = Xochitl, la nina de las flores
Xochitl and the flowers = Xochitl, la nina de las flores
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Annotation: Xochitl and her family, newly arrived in San Francisco from El Salvador, create a beautiful plant nursery in place of the garbage heap behind their apartment, and celebrate with their friends and neighbors.
Catalog Number: #4728030
Format: Paperback
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition Date: 2003
Illustrator: Angel, Carl,
Pages: 31 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-89239-224-X
ISBN 13: 978-0-89239-224-7
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2002067720
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: Spanish
Bilingual: Yes
ALA Booklist
Xochitl misses El Salvador, especially her family's flower business. She and her mother start selling flowers in the U.S., but Xochitl doesn't feel that she really belongs until her new community comes to the rescue to save the family livelihood. Basing his bilingual picture book on a true story, Argueta (A Movie in My Pillow , 2001) infuses his work with Salvadoran culture, writing of life in poetic language: days move like turtles, smiles bloom like flowers, and snails, like immigrants, carry their homes upon their backs. The Spanish text, likely the original, is particularly expressive. Although the story's conflict is far too easily resolved, the message about community is strong, and this is one of only a few books that deal with the Central American immigrant experience. Angel's rather flat depictions of the characters weaken the story; but his background images, including photo collages that often recap Xochitl's memories of El Salvador, are striking and very colorful.
Horn Book
Based on a true incident in San Francisco's Mission District, this bilingual story is written by Salvadoran-American poet Argueta. The acrylic, colored-pencil, and photo collage illustrations bring this long story about the dreams of one Salvadoran-American family to life. This is a fine example of what a book with a bilingual text can and should be.
Kirkus Reviews
<p>Angel's expressive and teeming illustrations warmly complement the sweet temper of Argueta's tale of an El Salvadoran familya"daughter, mother, and fathera"living in San Francisco. While daughter Xochitl remembers the family flower business back home and thinks about the occasions for which they provided flowersa"weddings, quinceaAeras, the funerals of petsa"Angel displays her thoughts like billboards on the buildings across the street. Soon her father is able to secure an apartment with a yarda"once full of junk, but now to be a small nursery. As they joyously celebrate their grand opening, however, the landowner angrily appears, demanding they close shop: the apartment is residential, not business. Will their dream come true be shattered as soon as it begins? Xochitl employs a matter-of-fact voice in her narration, giving the events and her feelings of nostalgia the feel of a memoir. Full of love for family and community, this bilingual story embodies the belief that positive action can overcome the negatives of circumstance. (Picture book. 6-9)</p>
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In a rather lengthy text, the story of Xochitl Flores, whose name means "flower" in Nahuatl, unfolds. Transplanted from her native El Salvador to San Francisco, the girl and her parents struggle to make the transition from one culture to another and from a rural to an urban environment. Remembering their previous home and their flower business inspires the child's mother to begin selling flowers in the city. Xochitl helps, loving the joy they bring to others even when her feet are tired. Then her father finds an apartment with a garden and the family builds a nursery. The bulk of the story is concerned with its fate at the hands of an unfeeling landlord and the community support that helps the Floreses keep it. Based on a true story, Xochitl's tale is well written in both languages, with the English text on the verso facing the Spanish text on the recto. Angel's acrylic, colored-pencil, and photo-collage artwork is vibrant and energetic, fleshed out by the bright colors and individual faces. Pair this story with Mary Hoffman's The Color of Home (Penguin Putnam, 2002) for tales of how immigrants adjust to new surroundings. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
Word Count: 1,377
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 75734 / grade: Lower Grades

Miles away from their home in El Salvador, Xochitl (SOH-cheel) and her family make a new home in the United States, but nothing is the same. Xochitl mourns a lovely garden and her family's small flower business, all left behind. Selling flowers on the street soon provides more than income for the Flores family: they begin to make friends with local storeowners and neighbors. But it is not until the family decides to start a nursery in its backyard that Xochitl begins to learn the true value of community in their adopted country. Basing his narrative on real-life events, prize-winning poet Jorge Argueta has crafted a tender, poetic, and moving story about a family's determination to set down roots and about their child's blooming among friends and neighbors. Artist Carl Angel's authentic and brilliant artwork splendidly documents this quintessentially American immigration story.

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