Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Oscar Hijuelos remembers New York City summers infused with street music; Latina fashion designer Rebeca Sanandrs interprets Grace Kelly; John Storm Roberts defines key terms in Latin music. A worthy companion to her acclaimed poetry anthology, Cool Salsa, Lori M. Carlson's Barrio Streets Carnival Dreams: Three Generations of Latino Artistry celebrates the rich Latino influences in American culture through a collection of poems, stories, drawings, photos and personal accounts. (Holt/Edge, $15.95 ages 11-up ISBN 0-8050-4120-6, June)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 9 UpA brief medley of poetry, storytelling, definitions of musical forms, graphic arts, and prayers from three generations of 20th-century American artists of Caribbean, Mexican, and South American ancestry. The 28 entries are not meant to serve as a complete guide to Hispanic cultural traditions but merely as an introduction to a particular historical period. Largely adult reminiscences, the selections describe difficulties of assimilation, a sense of invisibility in a new environment, and deep nostalgia in the Latino culture-experiences often expressed in the various artists' work. Most of the people included are from Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Cuban descent. Unfortunately, the visual layout of the book is unremarkable with small, black-and-white reproductions and bold stylized decorations. The English translation of the poem, "Sad Eyes," with numerous exclamation marks added for a heightened effect not found in the original Spanish version, is also disappointing. Overall, this is a well-intentioned tribute that may have trouble finding an audience.Selene S. Vasquez, New York Public Library
A tantalizing but disconnected sampler that hints at the range of contributions of 20th- century Hispanic authors and artists to this country's culture.
On a foundation of reminiscencesMarco Rizo on his boyhood chum, Desi Arnaz, and Carnival in Santiago, Cuba; novelist Susan Lowell remembering her strong-minded grandmother; Oscar Hijuelos celebrating the ubiquitous street music in Spanish Harlemcemented with brief introductions, Carlson (American Eyes, 1994, etc.) assembles anecdotes, photos, cartoons, poetry (some bilingual, with all Spanish translated), art, and essays from over two dozen contributors, on such diverse topics as music, racism, Operation Bootstrap's 1950s sterilization program in Puerto Rico, and the tin folk art called hojalateria. As the arrangement is broadly thematic and the editor stingy with dates, it's usually hard to tell an author'sor a piece'sage, and there is no sense of dialogue or historical development in the collection. Carlson declines to cite her sources or offer suggestions for further reading or viewing; her intent seems to be to pay tribute rather than to open a gateway for young readers. Parts of this are better than the disappointing whole.