Arrorró, Mi Niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games

selector: Lulu Delacre
illustrator: Lulu Delacre
musical arrangers: Cecilia Esquivel and Diana Sáez
Lee & Low, 2004
preschool-grade 2
Latin American

As a toddler, my son never walked. Every morning, he would practically wake up running! In his exuberance, he would run and fall down, run and fall down, run and fall down. Sometimes, he’d scrape his knee—and cry. And I would comfort him by placing my hand over his knee and whispering:

Sana, sana,
colita de rana.
Si no sanas hoy,
sanarás mañana.

Loosely translated into English, the words are:

Heal, heal,
little frog’s tail.
If you don’t heal today,
you’ll heal tomorrow.

So I was particularly happy to see this rhyme in Lulu Delacre’s little book of 15 lullabies and gentle games from Latin America. In Spanish and English—with the lovely, rhythmic Spanish predominant—this captivating little book shows the many faces of La Raza. Here, parents and grandparents, neighbors, teachers and friends—in school, at the market, in the park, at the library, in a museum, on a farm and in the strawberry fields—demonstrate their love for the community’s children. Delacre’s full-bleed watercolor spreads, with mostly warm earth-toned backgrounds, are calming and perfectly suited to the short rhymes. Several of these offer a few lines of simple instructions for how to play games that accompany the rhymes; and the end of the book provides sheet music so youngsters can sing along. A quiet treasure, Arrorró, Mi Niño is highly recommended.

—Beverly Slapin
(published 6/6/13)

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