Pat Mora and Raul Colón's third picture book collaboration is a joyful, vibrant celebration of words, books and the imagination.
Mora's opening poem kicks the reading festivities off: "We belong/ together,/ books and me,/ like toast and jelly/ o queso y tortillas./ Delicious! ¡Delicioso!/ Like flowers and bees,/ birds and trees,/ books and me." Colón's accompanying watercolor and Prismacolor pencil illustration features a rainbow-colored girl happily snacking on toast and jelly, queso y tortillas, as she leans against a tree trunk, her body completely surrounded by books. In her non-quesadilla-holding hand is a book, hefty and old looking, clearly a classic. The next spread features the poem "Collecting Words," with a boy in a baseball cap capturing words with a net--"cinnamon," "rambunctious," "wiggle"--as if they were butterflies. The following spreads slowly populate with more and more figures until "Library Magic" features a library full of children, all comfortably enjoying books.
Back and forth the poems and illustrations go, upbeat and exuberant with bright colors, or softer, gentler color palettes combined with the rolling intensity of poems like "Antelope Canyon": "For millions of years, water sculpted this sandstone,/ winding and swirling around rocks, waterfalls/ buffing sharp corners into curves,/ careening around boulders,/ crashing in flash floods, torrents gushing,/ polishing as they roiled and plunged." Mora's poems--in English with Spanish phrases sprinkled throughout--are descriptive and entertaining, wholly accessible to the young reader. And Colón's illustrations perfectly match Mora's text, his art dynamic, full of life and color. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness