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Little Chanclas

Kirkus Reviews
[José] Lozano displays a keenly sympathetic understanding of the sometimes-intense love a child bears for a favorite item of clothing. With both words and energetic, folk art-inspired illustrations, he creates a likably stubborn protagonist and situates her in a vibrant, affectionate Latino family.
A little girl loves her flip-flops to death—literally—setting up a new-shoe dilemma. Lily Luján so loves her battered old flip-flops her family calls her Little Chanclas (or “Chanclitas,” in Crosthwaite's parallel Spanish text). She wears them everywhere: to Chata's Market, to Benny's Burgerteria, and to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Tired of the constant slippity-slappety, her mother and big sister tried to coax her into a different pair of shoes, but even red Mary Janes from Googie's Boutique for Girls can't part Lily from her beloved flip-flops. Lily loves parties even more than her flip-flops, though, and it's dancing at a barbecue that spells doom for her battered footwear: the straps break, and one lands in the guacamole and the other right next to a hungry bulldog. Will Lily ever regain her slippity-slappety? Lozano displays a keenly sympathetic understanding of the sometimes-intense love a child bears for a favorite item of clothing. With both words and energetic, folk art-inspired illustrations, he creates a likably stubborn protagonist and situates her in a vibrant, affectionate Latino family. Skin colors modulate from pink to dark brown, reflecting a diverse community that embraces multiple Latino cultures as well as Lily's favorite restaurant: Suki's Sushiteria. Any child who's loved a favorite pair of shoes will identify with this vigorous Latina heroine. (Bilingual picture book. 4-8)
- March 3, 2015  Visit Website
New York Times
José Lozano’s softly exuberant, painterly images of a Mexican-American neighborhood seem to have in their DNA large-scale street murals, Mexican comic books and trading cards. They help Lily’s story leap playfully from the page like some sweet, hip fable.

Who doesn’t know a child like little Lily Luján? She refuses to take off a pair of old flip-flops – chanclas – that are not only beat-up, they make a sound that annoys everyone. She simply will not be tempted by offers of fancy new shoes, and when her chanclas break, she is inconsolable. When her mother won’t let her go out barefoot, Lily refuses to leave the house until her kind Granny Lola arrives with a new pair. (Years later, we learn in a final spread, Lily has traded her chanclas for soccer cleats, which make an irritating sound all their own.) The Los Angeles-based Lozano’s softly exuberant, painterly images of a Mexican-American neighborhood seem to have in their DNA large-scale street murals, Mexican comic books and trading cards. They help Lily’s story leap playfully from the page like some sweet, hip fable. Spanish translations by Lozano appear underneath or alongside the English text. He includes onomatopoeic sounds that may have English speakers scanning the Spanish, wondering how the “slippity-slappety” sound of Lily’s chanclas can be made in Spanish. The answer is as delightful as everything else about this book: “flipitín-flipitón.”
- September 23, 2015  Visit Website
International Literacy Association
Young children will enjoy the onomatopoeia used through the book to describe the sound of Lily’s chanclas. Those who are familiar with the linguistic nuances of the border regions and Spanish-speaking enclaves in the U.S. will identify with the authentic use of Spanglish in both the English and Spanish text to contextualize and describe Lily’s environment.
In "Little Chanclas," José Lozano presents a small but mighty little girl who wears noisy chanclas. In a world where girls are often encouraged to be quiet and sacrifice comfort for style, Lily defies the norm by “slippety-slappetying” through life with her beat-up chanclas. Lily even wears her chanclas to parties, much to the chagrin of her mother and other party-goers. Both tragedy and hilarity ensue at the party when Lily’s chanclas break while she is dancing and a dog gobbles up the pieces of her beloved shoes. All is resolved later in the story when Lily’s granny arrives with new chanclas in every color.

Young children will enjoy the onomatopoeia used through the book to describe the sound of Lily’s chanclas. Those who are familiar with the linguistic nuances of the border regions and Spanish-speaking enclaves in the U.S. will identify with the authentic use of Spanglish in both the English and Spanish text to contextualize and describe Lily’s environment; for example, shopping at the Shoeteria and eating dinner at the Sushiteria.
- Laura Roy, September 14, 2015  Visit Website
De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children
The charm and enthusiasm of Little Chanclas (the child) invites young readers and listeners into her world, and the vibrant illustrations and upbeat word play of Little Chanclas (the book) is a delight for everyone.
Little Lily Luján loves her chanclas. In a whole school year, their flipitin-flipitónes have accompanied her to “six quinceñeras, four baptisms, three weddings, two graduations, and sixteen family barbecues.” Everyone can hear Lily coming and going, and that’s why her nickname has become “Little Chanclas.”
Although the unrelenting, noisy flipitin-flipitón of Lily’s chanclitas majorly annoys everyone — relatives, neighbors, and others in the community — no one takes her flip-flops away. After all, they are part of who Lily is and how she navigates her world.
Now, every adult (but not necessarily every child) knows that nothing lasts forever — even flip-flops. Once their delicate straps break, it’s over. Lily’s personal tragedy occurs when the straps snap during a family barbecue, one of the chanclas falls into the guacamole bowl, and Chewcho, the neighborhood bulldog, quickly swallows the other one. ¡Aye, que no! Lily’s chanclitas are gone, she’s totally bummed, and there’s no consoling her.
Lily’s relationship to her beloved flip-flops and how friends, family and community members react to the strong-willed little girl is the essence of the story. As her Abuela gently and wisely reminds frustrated family members of their own childhood flirtations with flip-flops, the unspoken subtext demonstrates the acceptance of individual differences and the care and patience bestowed on the community’s children, who are to be loved and indulged rather than scolded or punished.
Using watercolor and inks on a vibrant palette of mostly oranges, yellows, blues and greens, Lozano’s art is reminiscent of the great Mexican and Chicano murals, especially those in East Los Angeles, the Mission District of San Francisco, and the Tex-Mex border towns. Flip-flop designs fill all of the front matter and back matter, and there are chanclas on virtually every interior page as well. Stylized full-bleed illustrations that often spread to parts of the accompanying pages contain real cultural events and real characters whose faces encompass the wide range of ethnic mixes among the Raza peoples in the Chicano communities.
Adding cultural authenticity and lively storytelling for young readers and listeners — hablantes and English speakers together — are the Spanglish words and phrases, together with onomatopoetic word play, all flawlessly woven into both texts. There’s, for example, Lily Luján’s “chanclas slippity-slappetying like castanets” (or, in Spanish, her “chanclas flipitín-flipitoneaban como castañuelas”). And, after Chewcho gobbles down one of Lily’s chanclas, “Chewcho se enfermó de chanclitis.” There are also some tongue-twisting place names tossed into the mix: Benny’s Burgertería, por ejemplo, and Sukey’s Sushitería.
It would seem that author-illustrator José Lozano and translator Luis Humberto Crosthwaite —who both demonstrate a dry wit and deft command of language — worked together, a practice rarely permitted in publishing.
Of course, Lily eventually grows to love a variety of other kinds of shoes — including high heels and moccasins — as well as her beloved chanclas. But her new favorites become — CLEATS! And, while everyone hears Lily’s “clickety-clackety ruckus” on the soccer field, no one cares. As she scores one goal after another, “todos gritarán de emoción,” ¡Échale ganas, Chanclitas!

The charm and enthusiasm of Little Chanclas (the child) invites young readers and listeners into her world, and the vibrant illustrations and upbeat word play of Little Chanclas (the book) is a delight for everyone.
- Beverly Slapin, August 11, 2016  Visit Website
School Library Journal
Spanglish/Chicano words are interwoven with family scenes of love and support that affirm the title character’s cultural identity.
School Library Journal Names Little Chanclas One Of Its Top 10 Latin@ Books for 2015
This inventive narrative follows Lily Lujan, aka Little Chanclas, as her mother and sister do their best to try to get her to change out of her favorite chanclas (flip-flops) into more sensible shoes. But she will not budge, until inevitably her favorite flip-flops fall apart. Lozano’s artwork is alive with the vibrant colors of an East Los Angeles street mural. Spanglish/Chicano words are interwoven with family scenes of love and support that affirm the title character’s cultural identity.
- November 23, 2015  Visit Website
LA Times
Jose Lozano’s folk art breathes life into this delightfully humorous tale, told in both Spanish and English. Any child with a particularly beloved toy or item of clothing will be able to relate to Lily, and this story has the potential to lead to discussions about ownership, language, culture and life.
From El Paso’s Cinco Puntos Press comes the story of tiny Lily, who loves her flip-flops so much that her family has nicknamed her Little Chanclas by José Lozano (Cinco Puntos: 32 pp, $16.95, ages 5 -9). From Chata’s Market to Benny’s Burgerteria and on to the Department of Motor Vehicles, Lily flip-flops her chanclas here, there and everywhere. However, when she breaks their fragile straps while dancing at a particularly fun party, a dilemma ensues — without her beloved shoes, is she still Little Chanclas? Jose Lozano’s folk art breathes life into this delightfully humorous tale, told in both Spanish and English. Any child with a particularly beloved toy or item of clothing will be able to relate to Lily, and this story has the potential to lead to discussions about ownership, language, culture and life.
- December 17, 2015  Visit Website

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