Monday, September 6, 2010

Side by Side/ Lado Lado by Monica Brown - Joe Cepeda

Side by Side/ Lado a Lado by Monica Brown illus by Joe Cepeda
This is the story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez. The two worked together to help farmworkers fight for their rights. In 1967 Huerta and Chavez cofounded the United Farm Workers Union. Since its Labor Day, I thought this would be a very fitting book to review.

There are a few children's biographies on Cesar Chavez. Though as far as I know this is the first one that pertains to Dolores Huerta. This is Brown's fifth bilingual picture book biography. The first that features two influential people in history. She did a wonderful job with the layout. It opens with the reader being introduced to a young Dolores on one page and a young Cesar on the other.

Brown continues this alternating telling, so the reader learns about the early years of Huerta and Chavez equally. Until the day the two finally meet. From that point on Side by Side is about what they accomplished together.

"When the growers and the politicians wouldn't listen, Cesar stopped eating for thirty-six days so that others would understand how important it was to protect the workers. When their bosses bullied them, the workers used to say, "we can't do it. we can't win." But with the help of Dolores, they began to chant, "Si, se puede! Yes, we can"!

Brown has mastered the art of making facts readable and enjoyable. Joe Cepeda's artistic style is a perfect fit for Side by Side. I love this collaboration.* Brown includes a note for parents in the back, with additional information. This is a must add to any library.

I''ve linked this post to non fiction Monday. The round up this week can be found at The Miss Rumphius Effect
*I am still convinced Brown has an illustrator fairy. She's always paired with the perfect artist. Cross posted at Color Online.

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