Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rene Has Two Last Names / Rene tiene dos apellidos. Rene Colato Lainez. Fabiola Graullera Ramirez.

Rene Has Two Last Names / Rene Tiene Dos Apellidos by Rene Colato Lainez and illus. by Fabiola Graullera Ramirez

The author turns a childhood experience into a bilingual picture book. English is on the top and Spainsh on the bottom. On the first day of school in the United States a young Rene Colato Lainez becomes Rene Colato. The shorter name feels wrong.

"In El Salvador, I wrote my name on my homework, my books and my birthday party invitations. Rene Colato Lainez was a happy song that made me dance to the rhythms of the cha cha cha. But in the United States, the song lost the guiros, and drums. Why does my name have to be different here?"

Young Rene's classmates tease him about his long name. A class project about a family tree allows Rene to explain the importance and meaning behind both last names. The presentation is great. Rene talks about about all four grandparents and the attributes he shares with each.

"And this is me, " I said, pointing to my picture in the family tree. "I am Rene Colato Lainez. I am as hard working as Abuelo Rene and as creative as Abuela Amelia. I can tell wonderful stories like Abuelo Julio and enjoy music like Abuela Angela. If you call me Rene Colato only, the other half of my family disappears."

I really liked this story. The illustrations are okay . There were a few pictures that made me smile, especially those of the grandparents. There is also a very cute cat. I would've liked the illustrations more if the children's eyes didn't seem to pop out of their heads. The large eyes didn't keep me from enjoying the story. The author does an excellent drawing a picture so children will understand his feeling of loss.

" Rene Colato looked incomplete. It was like hamburger without the meat or a pizza without cheese or a hot dog without a wiener. Yuck!"

After reading or hearing this story young readers will understand the significance and meaning behind two last names for the Latino culture.
Ages 6up

4 comments:

Ah Yuan // wingstodust said...

This picture book sounds amazing! The bilingual aspect is very interesting. Will see if it's available in my library. =D

Ali said...

This sounds like a beautiful theme for a book.

Rene Colato Lainez said...

Thanks for this review. This book came directly from my heart. I have a family with many talents. This story is a tribute for all my relatives from both sides of my family tree.

Colleen said...

I wish they wouldn't do that "eye popping" thing in kid books - it always freaks me out and makes me think of aliens or something.

Not that I'm overthinking this too much or anything.... :)