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by Gary Soto & illustrated by Annika Nelson

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-15-200067-4
Publisher: Harcourt

This humorous, tender collection of 25 poems and full-color linocuts about the daily life of Mexican-American children is a companion book to Soto's Neighborhood Odes (1992). Invoking ordinary domestic and community incidents, it's a fine introduction not only to poetry but to Chicano culture. In ``Papi's Menudo,'' a father enjoys a favorite dish; the narrator of ``Music for Fun and Profit'' gets paid not to play an instrument; and ``My Teacher in the Market'' explores the amazement of a child upon seeing a teacher outside of class. The poems are generally descriptive rather than abstract, more concerned with communicating feelings than with literary style, and most are free verse, without regular cadence or rhyme scheme. Nelson debuts with scenes—homey, comfortable, bright—that make the book even more accessible. (Poetry. 8-12)