A Surprise for Teresita / Una sorpresa para Teresita
An engaging bilingual picture book that celebrates community and birthdays!
by Virginia Sánchez-Korrol
Illustrations by Carolyn Dee Flores
Publication Date: November 30, 2016
Imprint: Piñata Books
When Teresita opens her eyes that morning, she knows it’s a special day. It’s her birthday, and now she’s a big girl. She’s seven! And her Tío Ramón has promised her a surprise. She can’t wait to find out what it is!
“Is it time for Tío Ramón to come to our block?” she asks her mamá excitedly as she sits down for breakfast. But it’s too early. Her uncle has to take his snow cone cart to the other blocks before he comes to theirs. All day, Teresita watches for the green and white cart. She listens for Tío Ramón calling, “Snow cones, cold snow cones. ¡Piraguas! ¡Piraguas frías!”
While she waits for her uncle, she jumps rope, plays games with her friends and watches the goings-on in her neighborhood. Mothers hold their young children’s hands as they walk to the corner bodega to buy groceries. Boys and girls ride bikes and play stickball. Older people sit at their windows and enjoy the sights and sounds of their community. And coming from far up the block where water sprays from an open fire hydrant, Teresita finally hears the sound of her uncle’s voice. What will her surprise be?!?
Set in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in New York City, this bilingual picture book for children ages 4 – 8 captures both the daily life of an urban community and a child’s excitement about her birthday surprise. Children will be inspired to look at—and maybe even write about—their own neighborhoods with new eyes.
“A young girl celebrating her birthday waits for a gift from her uncle, absorbing the sights and sounds of her city neighborhood. With painted illustrations that in near-photorealistic detail convey the emotions and activities of the many people around Teresita, the bilingual story is a simple slice of life that gets at the way so much can happen in half a day, even if the time seems to be dragging. It also conveys Teresita’s awareness that she is becoming a “big girl,” a more grown-up person with more responsibilities and a wider view of the world. Teresita’s anticipation will ring true to any kid who’s been saddled with an evening birthday party.”—Kirkus Reviews
“On the bustling city sidewalk in front of her building, Teresita anxiously awaits the arrival of her Tío Ramón, who has promised her something special for her seventh birthday, in A Surprise for Teresita, a bilingual slice of colorful, urban life from Virginia Sánchez-Korrol. Carolyn Dee Flores uses bold neons and soft edges to bring Teresita’s world into focus as she jumps rope, waters plants on the fire escape, and listens for the call of the snow-cone cart.”—Foreword Reviews
“It’s the representation of these joyous and exuberant young Nuyorican children of the rainbow that appears to have fired Flores’s imagination and her bright palette of piragua colors. Author, illustrator and translator have seamlessly woven together the elements of a warm story of family, friends and community, where Nuyorican children of the rainbow find joy in each other’s company and little things…and where a child’s only worry is what will be her birthday surprise. Teresita is a real little girl in this sweet little story with excellent Spanish translation and luminous art; and everything about it is real.”—De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children
VIRGINIA SÁNCHEZ-KORROL, professor emerita at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, is the author of several books including Feminist and Abolitionist: The Story of Emilia Casanova (Piñata Books, 2013) and From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City (1994). Sánchez-Korrol writes a blog about Puerto Ricans and Latinas in the United States for The Huffington Post. This is her first picture book.
CAROLYN DEE FLORES is the illustrator of Dale, dale, dale: Una fiesta de números / Hit It, Hit It, Hit It: A Fiesta of Numbers (Piñata Books, 2014) and Canta, Rana, canta / Sing, Froggie, Sing (Piñata Books, 2013), both of which were named to the Texas Library Association’s Tejas Star Reading List. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, she lives in San Antonio, Texas.
ATOS Interest Level: Lower Grades
Category: Picture Book