Spirit of Chicano Park- a 5 book award winner, including a Tomás Rivera Children's Book Award, 2021.: El espíritu del parque Chicano

Spirit of Chicano Park- a 5 book award winner, including a Tomás Rivera Children's Book Award, 2021.: El espíritu del parque Chicano


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Join Bettie and Bonky as they discover a magical park located in the most peculiar place, under a bridge! They learn to love their new home in Barrio Logan, a neighborhood with a rich history in San Diego, California. Through the eyes of a mystical señora they travel through a historical journey of a community's struggle to build a park.

The Spirit of Chicano Park/El espiritu del parque Chicano is a bilingual, children’s picture book that depicts the history of the creation of a historic park located in the community of Logan Heights in San Diego, California. The park was founded in 1970 as a result of a community Take Over of the land. The park was born out of a community’s struggle to create a place for family gatherings amidst the destruction of their community through the enforcement of eminent domain and the building of Interstate 5 freeway and the Coronado Bridge. The park is located underneath the Coronado Bridge. Massive cement pillars support the bridge and fill the park’s landscape. Community artists painted murals on the pillars that depict the history of the park and the history of the Chicano community. Housed in the center of the park is a one-of-a-kind stage called a Kiosco. The park is a living legacy of the people of Logan Heights, now also known as Barrio Logan. It is a vibrant park with community activities, dance ceremonials, and political gatherings occurring on a regular basis. Chicano Park is known nationally and internationally because of its art, but also because it became a symbol of hope and self-determination for the Chicano/Mexican-American community throughout the United States. The park was designated as a Historical Landmark in 2016.

The book is a full color, historical fiction and magical realism, children’s book written in English and Spanish. The back pages of the book showcase profiles of community organizers, artists, dancers, musicians, low-riders, and other activists who have been instrumental to the park's development.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780981695020
Publisher: Tolteca Press
Publication date: 04/30/2020
Pages: 54
Sales rank: 295,363
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range: 7 - 11 Years

About the Author

Beatrice Zamora is community activist, artist, award-winnng author, and a retired educator. She is a published author who has compiled stories that depict Chicano/Mexican-American and Native American history. Beatrice has written this book as a tribute to the land struggle of Logan Heights in San Diego, California. She believes that Chicano Park is a symbol of inspiration for all- a vibrant example of resilience and self-determination. The story's main message is about community voice and civic activism, respect for the earth, BIPOC matter, and community resiliency - values the author holds close to her heart. As an educator, Beatrice understands the importance of reading literature from diverse cultures. She believes children must be able to connect with the characters in the story and when children see themselves depicted in the stories they develop a relationship with the book and the joy of reading. This story is written in Spanish and English as a means of improving communication, but also demonstrating the importance of multi-language development. Beatrice is married and a mother of two. Both of her children are college educated and involved in cultural preservation. Beatrice and her husband, Mario Aguilar, live in San Diego county and have been teaching and preserving the Native-American traditions of Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. through community dance and art for many years. She believes that the diversity that exists in this country is extremely valuable and adds to the beauty of life. Beatrice was born in Logan Heights, San Diego, and raised in Los Angeles. She has family roots in Arizona, New Mexico, and Guanajuato, Mexico.

Maira Meza is a Chicana artist who resides in San Diego, California. She loves to paint, using vibrant colors to depict Chicano culture. This is Maira's first children's book. She resides in San Diego, is a mother and a small business owner. Her business is called Arte Hasta La Muerte, and it provides special programming of "paint nights" throughout the community.

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