From the Publisher
2008 Américas Award Honorable Mentions
...The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. By combining both and linking the Americas, the award reaches beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural-international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere. The award is sponsored by the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP).
The award winners and commended titles are selected for their 1) distinctive literary quality; 2) cultural contextualization; 3) exceptional integration of text, illustration and design; and 4) potential for classroom use. The winning books will be honored at a ceremony during Hispanic Heritage Month at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Children's Literature - Maria E. Gentle
When Mother Sky must put Little Night to bed at the end of the day, Little Night is ready to play. Has this not happened to every parent or childcare provider? We will see ourselves and out children in this beautiful introduction to magical realism. Pura Belpre winner Morales gives us a dreamy tale wherein Mother Sky and Little Night play, to our delight. The purples, blues, blacks, and reds are mesmerizing. The double page spreads reminds us of subdued mural art. The little details will keep children wanting more. While this book might be intended as a bedtime story book, do not just use it then. Revel in all the details and the exuberance that the two characters bring to the story. It is not just for nighttime, it is for daytime as well. The English version of Nochecita is just as enjoyable as the Spanish version. The book itself has a great feel in both its size and its texture. Another winner for Yuyi. Reviewer: Maria E. Gentle
School Library Journal
PreS - K - As the day comes to an end, "Mother Sky fills a tub with falling stars and calls, 'Bath time for Little Night!'" But the child wants to play and urges her mother to come and find her. Mother does, and Little Night is bathed in what appears to be a mixture of bubbles and clouds. When it is time to dress for bed, again Little Night runs off to hide. And again Mother Sky finds her, and dresses her in a "white dress crocheted from clouds." The same thing happens when it is time to eat. Little Night is depicted with a milk-white mustache after drinking stars from the Milky Way. Finally, Mother Sky untangles Little Night's hair with a shiny comb, and the child is ready to continue her play, bouncing the moon "high into the air!" Full-bleed spreads with luminous and rich hues of evening sky-blues, reds, and pinks-are painted in flowing sweeps of color, which illuminate and animate the glorious text. They are juxtaposed with the dark earth tones of cherubic Little Night and Mother Sky, and the effect is dreamlike and peaceful. A treasure for bedtime, or anytime.-DeAnn Okamura, San Mateo County Library, CACopyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Little Night hides and Mother Sky must find her behind the hills, in the bats' cave and in the blueberry field. Then she can give Little Night a bath in falling stars, put her in a dress crocheted from clouds, feed her star milk from the Milky Way and pin Venus, Mercury and Jupiter in her hair. Only then can Little Night play with the moon. Morales creates a tale in the folk tradition, but keeps the fantasy grounded in the familiar routines of a little girl and her mother as they play their ritual games at bedtime. The only thing missing is a coda; at the end, the reader turns the page expecting some kind of conclusion, so it takes a minute to realize that Little Night bouncing her ball into the air is, in fact, the finale. The illustrations fill the double-page spreads as if they are pulled from left to right. Strong colors in reds, browns and dark blues with a sprinkling of starlight add to the mystical effect. Lovely. (Picture book. 3-6)