Antonio, the narrator, is the smallest, and "Mamá is the biggest. She is going to have a baby any day now." Every day at two o'clock, the family gathers at the big wooden table in the kitchen for a meal: "When we are all at the table Mamá is happy." On Monday, one of the seven chairs is empty because Papá must work. "Ay, qué pena," sighs their mother. "What a pity." A different person is absent each subsequent day. On Saturday, the missing person is Mamá, who has gone to the hospital to have a baby girl. It is Antonio's turn to sigh at the empty chair: "Ay, qué pena!" Two weeks later they're all together again, and Mamá sighs, "Qué maravilla! How wonderful that everyone is eating together!" Set in the author's native Spain, there is an effortless use of Spanish words and phrases (a glossary is included) throughout this enveloping and big-hearted book. Vivas's handsome, stylized watercolors make use of rounded formsbowls, table, Mama's belly, and, finally, the small head of Rosa, the new babyto convey the warmth of the family circle. Qué maravilla, indeed.
Meet the Author
Dr. Short is a division director at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, D.C. She has worked as a teacher, trainer, researcher, and curriculum/materials developer. Her work at CAL has concentrated on the integration of language learning with content-area instruction. Through several national projects, she has conducted research and provided professional development and technical assistance to local and state education agencies across the United States. She directed the ESL Standards and Assessment Project for TESOL and co-developed the SIOP model for sheltered instruction.
Dr. Tinajero specializes in staff development and school-university partnership programs and has consulted with school districts in the U.S. to design ESL, bilingual, literacy, and bi-literacy programs. She has served on state and national advisory committees for standards development, including the English as a New Language Advisory Panel of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and the Texas Reading Academies. She is currently professor of Education and Interim Dean of the College of Education at the University of Texas at El Paso and was President of the National Association for Bilingual Education, 1997-2000.
Dr. Schifini assists schools across the nation and around the world in developing comprehensive language and literacy programs for English learners. He has worked as an ESL teacher, reading specialist, school administrator and university professor. Through an arrangement with California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, Dr. Schifini currently serves as program consultant to two large teacher-training efforts in the area of reading for second language speakers of English. His research interests include early literacy and language development and the integration of language and content-area instruction.
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