Waiting for the Biblioburro

by Monica Brown (Author) John Parra (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Ana loves stories. She often makes them up to help her little brother fall asleep. But in her small village there are only a few books and she has read them all. One morning, Ana wakes up to the clip-clop of hooves, and there before her, is the most wonderful sight: a traveling library resting on the backs of two burros-all the books a little girl could dream of, with enough stories to encourage her to create one of her own.

Inspired by the heroic efforts of real-life librarian Luis Soriano, award-winning picture book creators Monica Brown and John Parra introduce readers to the mobile library that journeys over mountains and through valleys to bring literacy and culture to rural Colombia, and to the children who wait for the BiblioBurro.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of this book was donated to Luis Soriano's BiblioBurro program.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Copyright 2011 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission

Publishers Weekly

Brown (Side by Side/Lado a lado) and Parra (Gracias/Thanks) gently portray a lifestyle 180 degrees from modern, technology-centric schooling. In rural Colombia, "Ana bathes her little brother and feeds the goats and collects the eggs to sell at the market," all the time longing to be back in her house reading her one and only book. The arrival of a librarian riding a burro brings more books and inspires Ana to write a book of her own. The traveling librarian and his donkeys, Alfa and Beto, are based on a real Colombian biblioburro, also the subject of Jeanette Winter's Biblioburro (2010). Parra's naive-styled acrylics brim with scenes of country life. A palette of salmon pinks and turquoise and sky blues, painted on board, give the book a rough-hewn, handmade quality and an innocent, childlike appeal (with her wide face, delicate features, and rouged cheeks, Ana even resembles a porcelain doll). In a metafictional ending, readers will notice that the book Ana hands the bibliotecario upon his return is this very book--fitting, as this truly is Ana's story. Ages 4-6. (July)

Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-K—The pleasure and love of reading are joyfully brought forth in this simple, happily rendered tale. Inspired by the work of real-life librarian Luis Soriano Bohorquez, who takes his mobile library into the small villages and rural countryside of Colombia, this story features young Ana. She loves to read, but because her teacher moved away some time ago, she has just one book. Nevertheless, she enjoys it again and again, reading it to her younger brother while also entertaining him with fantastical stories of her own making. Then one exciting day, the Biblioburro stops in her village. The traveling librarian, carrying books on his burros Alfa and Beto, not only leaves books for her but also encourages her to use her vivid imagination to create tales of her own. When he returns some weeks later, Ana presents him with her finished book, which features the two burros. That night she sinks into bed knowing her story will be shared with other children when the Biblioburro arrives in their villages. Brown's tale flows well, and Parra's folkloric-style illustrations are nicely in tune with the book's setting, adding appropriate flavor to the storytelling.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA

Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Review, School Library Journal, June 1, 2011
"The pleasure and love of reading are joyfully brought forth in this simple, happily rendered tale."

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2011
"Parra's colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana's real and imaginary worlds to life...The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as "quiquiriquí," "tacatac" and "iii-aah" adding to the fun."

Review, Publishers Weekly, May 9, 2011
"Parra's naïve-styled acrylics brim with scenes of country life. A palette of salmon pinks and turquoise and sky blues, painted on board, give the book a rough-hewn, handmade quality and an innocent, childlike appeal (with her wide face, delicate features, and rouged cheeks, Ana even resembles a porcelain doll). In a metafictional ending, readers will notice that the book Ana hands the bibliotecario upon his return is this very book—fitting, as this truly is Ana's story."

Review, The Horn Book, July/August 2011
"This sample of the impact of traveling librarians on rural children, inspired by a Colombian teacher-librarian, not only celebrates their work but eloquently portrays a matchless way to inspire learning: by feeding the natural hunger for story....Small, brown-faced Ana's enthusiasm is contagious, and the satisfying denouement, in which she donates her homemade book to the traveling collection, is just right."
Monica Brown

Monica Brown is the author of many award-winning bilingual books for children, many of which are inspired by her Peruvian American heritage. Monica is a Professor of English at Northern Arizona University, specializing in U.S. Latino Literature and Multicultural Literature. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. You can find her online at monicabrown.net.

Sara Palacios was born in Mexico City. She holds degrees in Graphic Design, Illustration, and Digital Graphic Techniques, and is pursuing her MFA in Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She divides her time between Mexico City and San Francisco, California. Her web site is sarapalacios.com.

Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781582463537
Lexile Measure
560L
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publication date
August 20, 2011
Series
-

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