The Treasure on Gold Street / El Tesoro en la Calle d'Oro: A Neighborhood Story in Spanish and English

The Treasure on Gold Street / El Tesoro en la Calle d'Oro: A Neighborhood Story in Spanish and English

by Lee Merrill Byrd, Antonio Castro L.
     
 

Hannah discovers that her neighborhood's real treasure is a mentally retarded woman named Isabel.

Overview

Hannah discovers that her neighborhood's real treasure is a mentally retarded woman named Isabel.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Hannah and Isabel are friends. Like Hannah, Isabel speaks both English and Spanish. Hannah thinks playing with Isabel is wonderful. But when an older girl points out that Isabel is "too old" to play with, Hannah realizes that her friend is different. Isabel is, after all, an adult. Simultaneously a sensitive treatment of the mentally challenged and a celebration of the real-life Isabel, this 2004 Skipping Stones Award winning title is best suited for independent readers. The text flows smoothly in both English and Spanish. The unsentimental tone of the text makes this a good introduction to the subject of the mentally challenged."—Críticas

"Employing simple declarative sentences and a distinctly child’s-eye view, Byrd creates a full and subtle treatment of the interaction of a mentally disabled woman and the neighbors and family members who surround her. Byrd’s tale evokes not simply Isabel’s circumscribed but happy life, but also the life stages of 'ordinary' children as they grow through differing attitudes toward the disabled. The illustrations are a fascinating combination of the vivid portraiture of Castro L. laid upon the cheery, Sunday-comics-style backgrounds of his son Castro H…An excellent introduction to the value of some of our society’s least appreciated citizens."—Kirkus Reviews

"This is at once a sensitive treatment of the mentally challenged and a celebration of the real-life Isabel. Best suited for independent readers, the text flows smoothly in both English and in the informed Spanish translation. The unsentimental tone of the text makes this a good introduction to the subject and could serve as a discussion starter."—School Library Journal

"Based on a true story about a mentally retarded woman, this story speaks to readers about power of friendship and its abilities to overcome physical challenges and age-related differences…Creative illustrations and background depict a multi-cultural set of characters ranging in age from a baby to an old woman. This book, with text in both Spanish and English and its careful treatment of mental retardation, will help to round out any classroom or library collection." —Children's Literature

"Written by an active member of the National Association of the Mentally Ill, and brought to life with heartwarming color illustrations by Antonio Castrol L., THE TREASURE ON GOLD STREET is very highly recommended." —Midwest Book Review

"This book is rich in many kinds of community. Isabel inspires love—and her story is sure to as well. From the bilingual format to the unusual heroine to the lively illustrations, which combine cartoon and realism—this is a unique book for children, and for those who inspire them to read." —New Mexico Magazine

Criticas
K-Gr 3-In this story about the mentally ill and their place in the community, author Lee Byrd creates the memorable character of Isabel. She becomes the true treasure of Gold Street as generations of children grow up with this mentally challenged woman as their best friend. She is the perfect playmate in that she takes a child's delight in ordinary things, loves to play, doesn't criticize, and never bosses you around. Isabel comes to life through the eyes of Hannah, her current playmate, who enjoys her company tremendously and hates the idea that one day she may "outgrow" this friendship. Look for a full review in an upcoming issue of Criticas after its October release. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Based on a true story about a mentally retarded women, this story speaks to readers about power of friendship and its abilities to overcome physical challenges and age-related differences. Hannah is a young girl living on Gold Street. Isabel is an older woman who lives with her mother two doors down from Hannah. Although Isabel is technically an adult, her childlike ways endear her to Hannah who enjoys reading, playing, and taking walks with her friend. Although some children in the neighborhood don't like to play with Isabel because of her age, Hannah understands her mother's frequent saying: "Make new friends but keep the old, One is silver and the other's gold." Creative illustrations and background depict a multi-cultural set of characters ranging in age from a baby to an old woman. This corresponds well with the theme that friendship knows no boundaries, as evidenced by the neighborhood birthday party thrown for Isabel at the end of the story. This book, with text in both Spanish and English and its careful treatment of mental retardation, will help to round out any classroom or library collection. 2003, Cinco Puntos Press, Ages 5 to 8.
—Ramirose Attebury Wendt
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-One of Hannah's best friends is Isabel, a mentally challenged adult who plays with her. Like Hannah, Isabel enjoys taking walks with her mom, finding old toys in the grass, coloring, and using the wading pool. She's just bigger, and since both her family and neighbors accept her as she is-even as a kind of gift-Hannah thinks that Isabel is great. It's only when an older girl points out that she is "too old" to play that Hannah has any inkling at all that her friend is different in a problematic way. However, when Isabel's birthday rolls around, everyone comes to celebrate; and Hannah's mother shows just how special her friend is. This is at once a sensitive treatment of the mentally challenged and a celebration of the real-life Isabel. Best suited for independent readers, the lengthy text flows smoothly in both English and in the informed Spanish translation. The illustrations are a bit less successful. The foreground consists of detailed pencil-and-watercolor portraits done in a realistic style. The backgrounds are rendered in a cartoon style in what appears to be pen and ink and watercolor. The two work together well on some spreads and uneasily on others, rather like a Blues Clues background dropped into a set of carefully rendered portraits. Regardless, the unsentimental tone of the text makes this a good introduction to the subject and could serve, especially in excerpted form, as a discussion starter. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Employing simple declarative sentences and a distinctly child's-eye view, Byrd creates a full and subtle treatment of the interactions of a mentally disabled woman and the neighbors and family members who surround her. Narrator Hannah is still at an age at which she enjoys playing and visiting with Isabel, an adult who's as light-hearted and free as a child, though Hannah's readers can see--in the reactions of her slightly older friend Erica--how Hannah herself will probably begin to withdraw from Isabel as a playmate before long. Thus Byrd's tale evokes not simply Isabel's circumscribed but happy life, but also the life stages of "ordinary" children as they grow through differing attitudes toward the disabled. The illustrations are a fascinating combination of the vivid portraiture of Castro L. laid upon the cheery, Sunday-comics-style backgrounds of his son Castro H. Longer than most picture books, this is designed to be read to young children, and afterward discussed with them by informed adults. (The Spanish text sits neatly beside the English on the same page.) Cast as narrative, it is actually a work of sociology based on the lives of Byrd's family and neighbors. An excellent introduction to the value of some of our society's least appreciated citizens. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780938317753
Publisher:
Cinco Puntos Press
Publication date:
10/01/2003
Edition description:
Bilingual Edition
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Lee Merrill Byrd loves what happens when her grandchildren wander through the neighborhood. Her first children's book Treasure on Gold Street followed her granddaughter Hannah. Now it's Little Johnny's turn. Algonquin published her first novel in Spring 2006. Antonio Castro L. was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and has lived in the Juarez-El Paso area for most of his life. He has illustrated dozens of childrens' books including Pájaro Verde and Treasure on Gold Street.

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