Reaching for the Sun: Kids in Cuba

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Readers experience Cuba through the eyes of a ten-year-old girl, Angie Espinoza who spends a month working and touring with a children's theater group. The project was a cooperative effort of Equal Opportunities Productions (EqOp) from Los Angeles, and La Colmenita (Little Beehive), the Cuban host. During the month stay, the children write and perform a play that culminates at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana. When they are not rehearsing, the young actors tour the local area and what they discover forms the text of this lavishly illustrated volume. Strong friendships reach across cultural lines as the students from both countries trade clothes, sing songs and dance to the salsa music of Cuba, and rap from America. Costumes created by the students and mentors are sometimes made from borrowed cast-offs of generous neighbors. Both art and strong friendships are created in the process. When the final production comes, parents from both Los Angeles and Cuba eagerly watch as their children demonstrate that people really are the same everywhere. The essence of what is learned in this project is dramatically portrayed in the grand finale as the children reach across and grasp hands with each other, instead of reaching for the sun. 2003, The Millbrook Press,
— Janice DeLong
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-During the summer of 2000, a children's theater group in Cuba invited a creative arts group in Los Angeles to visit for the purpose of creating an original theatrical production, written and performed entirely by the youngsters. Twelve mentors from each group worked with them, building relationships an understanding of both cultures. Angie Espinoza, 10, was one of those children, and this book focuses on her experiences. Excursions to the mountains, seaside, and countryside provided inspiration for writing their play. After two weeks, the children returned to Havana to rehearse songs, dances, and scenes. Field trips, interspersed with the various work activities, introduced the visitors to Cuban history, politics, and daily life. Finally, the day arrived for the performance. The narrative describes the scenes and activities in an interesting manner, and flows easily from one activity to another. When Spanish words are utilized, an explanation is provided. The photos provide clear visuals of the events, and the children's faces are vibrant and animated. This book does an excellent job of documenting the experiences of these young people.-Margaret R. Tassia, Millersville University, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761322610
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Series: Single Titles Ser.
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: A MILLBROO
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.94 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.34 (d)

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