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René Has Two Last Names/René Tiene Dos Apellidos
     

René Has Two Last Names/René Tiene Dos Apellidos

by René Colato Laínez
 
An engaging bilingual picture book about a boy's clever tricks to help his classmates understand an Hispanic cultural tradition

"On the first day at my new school, my teacher, Miss Soria, gave me a sticker that said René Colato. The sticker was missing my second last name. Maybe Miss Soria's pen ran out of ink. I took my pencil and added it. Now it

Overview

An engaging bilingual picture book about a boy's clever tricks to help his classmates understand an Hispanic cultural tradition

"On the first day at my new school, my teacher, Miss Soria, gave me a sticker that said René Colato. The sticker was missing my second last name. Maybe Miss Soria's pen ran out of ink. I took my pencil and added it. Now it looked right: René Colato Laínez."

Young René is from El Salvador, and he doesn't understand why his name has to be different in the United States. When he writes Colato, he sees his paternal grandparents, René and Amelia. When he writes Laínez, he sees his maternal grandparents, Angela and Julio. Without his second last name, René feels incomplete, "like a hamburger without the meat or a pizza without cheese or a hot dog without a wiener."

His new classmates giggle when René tells them his name. "That's a long dinosaur name," one says. "Your name is longer than an anaconda," another laughs. But René doesn't want to lose the part of him that comes from his mother's family. So when the students are given a project to create a family tree, René is determined to explain the importance of using both of his last names. On the day of his presentation, René explains that he is as hard working as Abuelo René, who is a farmer, and as creative as his Abuela Amelia, who is a potter. He can tell stories like his Abuelo Julio and enjoys music like his Abuela Angela.

This charming bilingual picture book for children ages 4 - 8 combines the winning team of author René Colato Laínez andillustrator Fabiola Graullera Ramírez, and follows their award-winning collaboration, I Am René, the Boy / Soy René, el niño. With whimsical illustrations and entertaining text, this sequel is sure to please fans and gain many new ones while explaining an important Hispanic cultural tradition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mandy Cruz
On the first day at his new school Rene noticed that his teacher left one of his last names off of his name tag, so he added it. An immigrant from El Salvador, Rene was confused by the practice of using only one of his last names in the United States. To Rene each last name represented a set of grandparents and it felt wrong to leave one set out. He compared using only one last name to having pizza without cheese. Worse, at recess the kids teased him for using two last names—one going so far as to say his name was longer than an anaconda. When he shared his concerns with his parents, his father comforted him by saying that his mother's last name is still in his heart. That night he dreamt that his mother faded away with his last name so Rene decided not to lose his second last name. For his family tree project Rene worked hard to find the right photos to portray his family. He presented his family tree to his class and demonstrated how both names are an equally important part of him. He concluded his presentation with his grandmother's music. While dancing, his classmates told him how "cool" it is to have two last names and his teacher assured Rene that he would not have to choose just one anymore. A moving story about one of the many issues faced by children from Latin America but told in a most charming way. This story inspires the understanding of the importance, in some families, of having two last names. Reviewer: Mandy Cruz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3–René, a new student from El Salvador, doesn’t understand why his second last name is missing from his desk’s name label. Adding it results in a name so long that his classmates make fun of it by comparing it to that of a dinosaur. He discusses the problem with his parents, but they don’t have an answer. That night he dreams of a world without a mother and maternal grandparents who dance, make chocolate, and fix his bike. Half of his world is missing and he is not about to let that happen. When his teacher assigns the students the project of creating a family tree, René is determined to show his classmates and teacher why he has two last names and the importance of his dos apellidos. Colato Laínez introduces readers to a significant Hispanic cultural tradition and the sentiments of many immigrants. The illustrations are simple but beautifully embellish the text. A wonderful bilingual selection for storytime and for units on families.–Diana Borrego Martínez, Salinas, CA
Kirkus Reviews
On the first day in his new school, Rene's teacher gives everyone a nametag with their first and last names. Though Rene's last name, like many Salvadorans', has two parts, "Colato Lainez," his tag reads only "Rene Colato." Maybe the teacher ran out of ink? Adding "Lainez" on his own, Rene is teased about having an unusually "long dinosaur name" but uses the opportunity of a family-tree assignment to instruct everyone, including the teacher, about why both names together represent his full Italian and Spanish heritage. Rene's full name proudly reminds him that he is a product of both his father and mother's family histories, both rich in talent and hard work. Drawing from his personal immigrant experience, the author tells his story in a bilingual narration, his sincere, earnest voice augmented by Graullera Ramirez's softly colored cartoon-style watercolor scenes of family and classmates. The significance of this Hispanic tradition respecting both sides of a child's parentage is well explained in this easily understood example of cultural differences. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558855304
Publisher:
Arte Publico Press
Publication date:
10/01/2009
Edition description:
Bilingual
Pages:
1
Sales rank:
141,812
Product dimensions:
11.20(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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