Magic windows = ventanas magic
Magic windows = ventanas magic
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Annotation: In Spanish and English, Carmen Lomas Garza portrays her family's Mexican customs through cut-paper work.
Catalog Number: #5528011
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 1999
Edition Date: 1999
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-89239-183-9
ISBN 13: 978-0-89239-183-7
Dewey: 306
Language: Spanish
Bilingual: Yes
ALA Booklist
Working in the Mexican folk art tradition of papel picado (cut-paper art), Lomas Garza creates magic windows through which she invites the audience to look at the world of her family, Southwestern community, and Mexican heritage. Designed like stained glass windows, these vibrantly outlined pieces, which show homey scenes as well as elements of the natural world, hold the eye with their entrancing play between positive and negative spaces. In bilingual narration (the Spanish translation by Francisco X. Alarcon), Lomas Garza tells personal stories and explains the cultural history explored in each cut-paper piece.
Horn Book
As told to Harriet Rohmer. In a bilingual text, an artist explores her Mexican heritage by describing various subjects in her papel picado, cut-paper art. Appropriately enough, the Spanish translation contains some word choices that are colloquial only to Mexico, but the translated text is choppy at times, and a paragraph is missing on one page. Nevertheless, the book provides a unique, personal perspective.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-A collection of full-page reproductions of Lomas Garza's papel picado, cut-paper art, accompanied by short explanatory narratives in Spanish and English. The intricate cutouts have bold, thick lines and severe angles and the artist uses delicate connectors, such as cactus spines and corn silk, to hold the images together. Most of the cutouts are done with black paper, although a few are cut from yellow or blue paper, and all of them feature a generous use of negative space through which monochromatic backgrounds of yellows, blues, pinks, oranges, and greens are revealed. Many of the pictures present scenes of the Mexican-American artist's childhood and family, such as a close-up of her grandfather's hands cutting a nopal cactus. The remainder are scenes of Mexican flora and fauna, such as two hummingbirds drinking nectar from cactus flowers. A brief description accompanies each scene. Although the cutouts successfully demonstrate Lomas Garza's considerable artistic skill, the presentation is not entirely effective. The reproductions appear flat, making them look more like computer-generated art than fragile paper cutouts. The book can best be used and most fully appreciated in conjunction with a hands-on introduction to the art form.-Denise E. Agosto, formerly at Midland County Public Library, TX Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Pura Belpre Award
ALA Booklist (5/1/99)
Horn Book (8/1/99)
School Library Journal
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 1,753
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 35268 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.8 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q21495
Lexile: AD810L

We look into Carmen's studio and see her paint a Mexican jarabe tapatío dancer; we glimpse the hummingbirds that cross the US-Mexico border to taste the sweet nectar of the cactus flowers; and we watch Carmen teach her nieces and nephews how to make their own magic windows. Magic Windows is a continuing tribute to family and community as well as a way for Carmen to connect future generations to their ancestors by teaching and sharing with them this traditional folk art.

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