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Rudolfo Anaya weaves bilingual holiday stories for children

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Anaya achieved lasting literary fame and influence with her 1972 novel “Bless Me, Ultima” about a boy coming of age in New Mexico after World War II under the guidance of a healer. disease by traditional spirituality. The book became a movie – and an opera.

Anaya writes “New Mexico Christmas Stories” for children originally in English, dotting Spanish words and phrases about Spanish holiday comfort food and Christmas jokes. Traditional birth performed by “abuelos”.

Literally translated, “abuelos” means paternal grandfather or grandparent, while it is also used as slang to refer to the formal family elders of northern New Mexico who often come to the home. at Christmas to ask startled children if they were naughty or kind.

The book’s images are by popular culture painter and muralist Moises Salcedo – who was traveled by El Moisés – and provide a vivid visual tour of winter holiday traditions in northern New Mexico, from handmade “farolito” candle lights to steamed “pozole” stews and an adventure that touches three wise men.

Michelle Garcia, a preschool teacher in Albuquerque, read her previous book on Owls in the Straw Hats to her 4- and 5-year-olds seated in a semicircle, allowing comments and questions.

The Hispanic tradition is widespread in New Mexico, where Spanish settlers arrived in the 1598s. Nearly half of the state’s population claims Hispanic heritage, and some students in the region. Garcia’s class – but not all – recognized Spanish words in Anaya’s books. Garcia says a short glossary of English-Spanish words in the book helps her answer any questions.

Garcia, who traces her Hispanic roots and is comfortable with Spanish expressions with grandparents in northern New Mexico, says: “There’s just such a bunch of words, they can relate, especially if they are of Chicano descent or any kind of Hispanic. southernmost Colorado.

Garcia took a day off to see Anaya shortly before his death, knowing he would appear at the dedication of a public library in his name.

“He said he met his wife at the library,” Garcia said. “It’s just this great story to encourage kids to go to the library and read and open books. It just encourages me to tell those stories.”

https://www.kob.com/national-news/rudolfo-anaya-weaved-bilingual-holiday-tale-for-children/6341340/?cat=500 Rudolfo Anaya weaves bilingual holiday stories for children

Yasmin Harisha

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