Cover image for From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems
From the bellybutton of the moon and other summer poems
Alarcón, Francisco X., 1954-2016.
Publication Information:
San Francisco, Calif. : Children's Book Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
31 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
A bilingual collection of poems in which the renowned Mexican American poet revisits and celebrates his childhood memories of summers, Mexico, and nature.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.7 0.5 50145.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.1 1 Quiz: 20157 Guided reading level: NR.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3551.L22 F76 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS3551.L22 F76 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
PS3551.L22 F76 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Foreign Language

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Este entretenido libro es una colección bilingüe de poemas que refleja la alegría que experimentan unos niños en sus vacaciones a México, cuando visitan a sus tíos, tías y abuelitos. Los recién llegados ansían encontrase con sus parientes, y los parientes, por su parte, desean que los visitantes conozcan y reconozcan su país, sus tradiciones, su cultura, sus comidas, reflejando así las intenciones del autor que escribe libros bilingües sobre la familia, la cultura mexicana-americana y la niñez. Las ilustraciones brillantes y llenas de color y energía captan el calor familiar y la felicidad de los niños durante esas fantásticas vacaciones de verano. Sin duda alguna, los niños de 5 a 8 años disfrutarán este libro y podrán revivir las fantásticas aventuras de los protagonistas.

Author Notes

Francisco X. Alarcón was born in Los Angeles, California on February 21, 1954. He grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico. He received an undergraduate degree from California State University at Long Beach and a MA from Stanford University. He was the author of 14 collections of poetry for both children and adults.

His collections of poetry for adults include Body in Flames/Cuerpo en Llamas; De Amor Oscuro/Of Dark Love; From the Other Side of Night/Del Otro Lado de la Noche: New and Selected Poems; Ce Uno One: Poemas para el Nuevo Sol/Poems for the New Sun; Borderless Butterflies: Earth Haikus and Other Poems/Mariposas sin Fronteras: Haikus Terrenales y Otros Poemas; and Canto Hondo/Deep Song. Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation won the American Book Award. He also received the 1984 Chicano Literary Prize, the 1993 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and a Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association in 2002.

His collections of poetry for children include Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems/Los Angeles Andan en Bicicleta y Otros Poemas de Otoño and Iguana in the Snow and Other Winter Poems/Iguanas en la Nieve y Otros Poemas de Invierno. Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems/Jitomates Risuenos y Otros Poemas de Primavera won the National Parenting Publications Gold Award and From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems/Del Ombligo de la Luna y Otros Poemas de Verano won the American Library Association's Pura Belpré Honor Award for Latino Literature.

He served as director of the Spanish for Native Speakers Program at the University of California at Davis, and taught for the Art of the Wild workshop and the California Poets in the Schools program. He died of cancer on January 15, 2016 at the age of 61.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-10. Following their award-winning collaboration on Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems (1997), poet Alarcon and artist Gonzalez have produced a new picture-book collection of 22 bilingual poems inspired by the poet's memories of childhood summers spent in Mexico. Short, imagistic poems like "Summer Sun" ("luminous / orange / hanging / from the tree / of noontime") given in both English and Spanish, are mixed with some slightly longer and more personally resonant selections, such as "From the Bellybutton of the Moon," which traces the poet's childhood response to Mexico and the understanding of his own origins. Responding to and expanding on the poetry, Gonzalez's happy paintings weave rich waves of color in an exuberant dance between text and design. This seasonal collection is welcomed for the sweet summertime caress of its sunny sensations, tangy tastes, and warm memories of a loving Latino family life. --Annie Ayres

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-With precise language and vivid paintings, this collection of 22 English and Spanish poems celebrates the simple joys of summertime in Mexico. As in Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems/Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera (Children's Book Pr., 1997), Alarcón exhibits a tremendous talent for imbuing quotidian objects and concepts with dignity and jubilation. For example, in "Island," he writes that "every island/dreams/of being/a continent," and in "Ode to My Shoes," he describes a little boy's sneakers that "...fall asleep/and dream/of walking...." Gonzalez's folk paintings are equally fine, exhibiting a generous use of contrasting colors and wide, bold brush strokes. A charming book with even more direct language and more evocative art than that in Laughing Tomatoes.-Denise E. Agosto, formerly at Midland County Public Library, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.