Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia

Overview

Luis loves to read, but soon his house in Colombia is so full of books there's barely room for the family. What to do? Then he comes up with the perfect solution—a traveling library! He buys two donkeys—Alfa and Beto—and travels with them throughout the land, bringing books and reading to the children in faraway villages. Beautiful!

Complete with an author's note about the real man on whom this story is based.

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Overview

Luis loves to read, but soon his house in Colombia is so full of books there's barely room for the family. What to do? Then he comes up with the perfect solution—a traveling library! He buys two donkeys—Alfa and Beto—and travels with them throughout the land, bringing books and reading to the children in faraway villages. Beautiful!

Complete with an author's note about the real man on whom this story is based.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Winter (Nasreen's Secret School) again roots a heartening and informative story in real life. Festive acrylic paintings transport readers to the lush Colombian jungle, where the wife of an avid reader grumbles that his extensive book collection is cluttering their house ("What are we going to do, eat books with our rice?"). To solve the problem, Luis builds crates and packs them with books that he delivers--via burro--to adults and children in remote parts of the country. During a trip to El Tormento, one of the burros refuses to leave a stream where they've paused ("The children are waiting for us!" Luis coaxes), and a bandit who leaps out from the shadows grudgingly accepts a book instead of silver. Upon his arrival, Luis distributes piglet masks for children to wear as he reads them a tale about three renowned little pigs. Tropical colors ignite Winter's art, which has a pleasant folk art feel and an almost feltlike texture (the pages are rich with songbirds and smiley-faced butterflies). Winter concludes with a brief profile of the actual Luis. Ages 6-9. (June)
From the Publisher
* "Winter’s captivating paintings evoke a South American feel in their brilliant palette...Winter’s text is spare and streamlined, as usual, and here it has a particularly engaging, repetitive rhythm that builds into a lulling bedtime beat...Both understated and full of life, this satisfying story is a vibrant reminder of the pleasures of books and the difference one individual can make."—Booklist, starred review

"One person can make a difference, and in this book Luis Soriano makes all the difference in the world...Winter has a gift for creating nonfiction that is accessible to and appeals to very young readers. The story is well told, and the colorful illustrations reflect the flora and fauna of Colombia...Winter ends the book by saying, “A small corner of the world is enriched.” What a terrific way to help children think about their role in doing the same."—School Library Journal

"Winter’s account of his story targets young children and joins several other recent books about traveling libraries around the world. The author’s cheery acrylics present the flora and fauna of the tropical forest in bright colors and naïve style...Sweet and uplifting."—Kirkus Reviews

"Winter again roots a heartening and informative story in real life. Festive acrylic paintings transport readers to the lush Colombian jungle...Tropical colors ignite Winter's art, which has a pleasant folk art feel and an almost feltlike texture."—Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—One person can make a difference, and in this book Luis Soriano makes all the difference in the world. A Colombian schoolteacher with a passion for reading, he had so many books in his house that he decided to take them to children high up in the mountains where no libraries existed. With the help of two burros, Soriano made the mountainous trek each weekend to spread literacy where it was desperately needed. Winter has a gift for creating nonfiction that is accessible to and appeals to very young readers. The story is well told, and the colorful illustrations reflect the flora and fauna of Colombia. Back matter offers a bit more information about this generous and dedicated teacher who got books into the hands of so many people. Pair this title with Margaret Ruurs's My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World (Boyds Mills, 2005) for some great conversations. Winter ends the book by saying, "A small corner of the world is enriched." What a terrific way to help children think about their role in doing the same.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Kirkus Reviews
In 2000, Luis Soriana, a true book lover, started sharing his books with adults and children in remote mountain towns in northern Colombia. Winter's account of his story targets young children and joins several other recent books about traveling libraries around the world. The author's cheery acrylics present the flora and fauna of the tropical forest in bright colors and naive style. Luis and his burros, appropriately named Alfa and Beto, make up the staff of Biblioburro (The Burro Library) with some help from Diana, Luis's wife, who wants all the books out of her little house. There are problems: Sometime the burros don't want to keep walking; a bandit (a cartoonlike figure) attacks but takes a book instead of money. The children, however, are entranced by not only the books but also Luis's stories. One day, he even brings pig masks as he tells the story of "The Three Little Pigs," and the surprise for readers is in the sketched-in pictorial speech balloons that tell the story without even mentioning its title. Sweet and uplifting. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416997788
  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 401,892
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeanette Winter is the acclaimed author/illustrator of many highly regarded picture books, including The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq; Mama: A True Story in Which a Baby Hippo Loses His Mama During a Tsunami, but Finds a New Home, and a New Mama; Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa; Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan; Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia; Henri’s Scissors, Mr. Cornell’s Dream Boxes, and most recently, Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan. She lives with her husband, artist Roger Winter, in New York.

Jeanette Winter is the acclaimed author/illustrator of many highly regarded picture books, including The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq; Mama: A True Story in Which a Baby Hippo Loses His Mama During a Tsunami, but Finds a New Home, and a New Mama; Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa; Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan; Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia; Henri’s Scissors, Mr. Cornell’s Dream Boxes, and most recently, Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan. She lives with her husband, artist Roger Winter, in New York.

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