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Críticas' Best Books of 2008: Dance, Nana, Dance
Críticas' Best Books of 2008: <i>Dance, Nana, Dance</i> January 20, 2009
--Cinco Puntos Press

Dance, Nana, Dance / Baila, Nana, Baila has been chosen by Críticas as one of the Best Books of 2008. Congratulations Joe Hayes and Mauricio Trenard Sayago!

November 1, 2008

Gr 4-8–These 13 bilingual folktales introduce readers to Cuban classics, which are, in turn, heavily influenced by Spanish, African, and Caribbean cultures. The entertaining collection present readers with a variety of colorful characters, such as a blue bird with gold wings, a yam that terrifies the bravest man in the army, an old lady who can dance for days, an old devil who leaves hairy footprints as he walks, a boy who can never remember what his mother wants from the store, and the man who “had never done a day’s work in his life.”

Hayes’s language is characteristically expressive and descriptive in both languages. Some of the tales have a musical verse or two that will encourage listeners to join in during storytelling sessions. A bold pastel illustration that beautifully celebrates Afro-Cuban culture accompanies each story. The book includes an introduction, table of contents, and on the back pages, helpful notes to readers and storytellers, as well as background information on the stories. In this last part, the author provides connections to stories told by the Grimm brothers and Native Americans, as well as to African and Latin American folktales.

A great acquisition for upper elementary and middle school libraries, and an excellent resource for storytellers.

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