Xochitl and the Flowers/Xochitl, La nina de las Flores

Overview

Miles away from their home in El Salvador, Xochitl (Soh-cheel) and her family make a home in America. Xochitl misses her family’s small flower business and garden back home. By selling flowers on the street the Flores family begin to make friends with their new neighbors. But it is not until the family decides to start a nursery that Xochitl learns the value of community. Award-winning writer Jorge Argueta has crafted a moving story about a family’s determination to set down roots and about their child’s ...

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Overview

Miles away from their home in El Salvador, Xochitl (Soh-cheel) and her family make a home in America. Xochitl misses her family’s small flower business and garden back home. By selling flowers on the street the Flores family begin to make friends with their new neighbors. But it is not until the family decides to start a nursery that Xochitl learns the value of community. Award-winning writer Jorge Argueta has crafted a moving story about a family’s determination to set down roots and about their child’s blooming in a new environment. Carl Angel’s artwork splendidly documents this quintessentially American immigration story.

Xochitl and her family, newly arrived in San Francisco from El Salvador, create a beautiful plant nursery in place of the garbage heap behind their apartment, and celebrate with their friends and neighbors.

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Editorial Reviews

Criticas
Grade 1-5–Longing for the happier times she experienced in her native El Salvador, Xochitl, the flower girl, is pleasantly surprised one day when her mother brings home some fresh flowers to sell in the street. "Can I help you?" she asks, and the days suddenly come to life in her San Francisco neighborhood. Besides getting to know the neighbors and putting a smile on her patrons' faces, the hard work is enjoyable for this energetic little girl. When the family of three moves into an apartment with a small yard, they grow their own plants and flowers to sell. Xochitl is absolutely delighted, despite the tiresome work. The opening-day celebration is festive and thrilling until Don Roberto, their growling landlord, demands that the noisy crowd disband. Not until the neighbors tug at his heartstrings does he agree that a garden is preferable to the vacant lot it once was. Side-by-side bilingual text is a particularly suitable format for this timeless immigration story. Radiant chalk illustrations represent each scene tastefully. Xochitl's story is a superb read-aloud and a necessary component of school libraries that serve immigrant children. Recommended for all bookstores and library collections.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
—Paul M. Kienlen, Northside ISD, San Antonio, TX
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In a rather lengthy text, the story of Xochitl Flores, whose name means "flower" in Nahuatl, unfolds. Transplanted from her native El Salvador to San Francisco, the girl and her parents struggle to make the transition from one culture to another and from a rural to an urban environment. Remembering their previous home and their flower business inspires the child's mother to begin selling flowers in the city. Xochitl helps, loving the joy they bring to others even when her feet are tired. Then her father finds an apartment with a garden and the family builds a nursery. The bulk of the story is concerned with its fate at the hands of an unfeeling landlord and the community support that helps the Floreses keep it. Based on a true story, Xochitl's tale is well written in both languages, with the English text on the verso facing the Spanish text on the recto. Angel's acrylic, colored-pencil, and photo-collage artwork is vibrant and energetic, fleshed out by the bright colors and individual faces. Pair this story with Mary Hoffman's The Color of Home (Penguin Putnam, 2002) for tales of how immigrants adjust to new surroundings. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Angel's expressive and teeming illustrations warmly complement the sweet temper of Argueta's tale of an El Salvadoran family-daughter, mother, and father-living in San Francisco. While daughter Xochitl remembers the family flower business back home and thinks about the occasions for which they provided flowers-weddings, quincea-eras, the funerals of pets-Angel displays her thoughts like billboards on the buildings across the street. Soon her father is able to secure an apartment with a yard-once full of junk, but now to be a small nursery. As they joyously celebrate their grand opening, however, the landowner angrily appears, demanding they close shop: the apartment is residential, not business. Will their dream come true be shattered as soon as it begins? Xochitl employs a matter-of-fact voice in her narration, giving the events and her feelings of nostalgia the feel of a memoir. Full of love for family and community, this bilingual story embodies the belief that positive action can overcome the negatives of circumstance. (Picture book. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892391813
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/10/2003
  • Edition description: Bilingual Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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