Arenas y trinos: Abecedario del río / Sand and Song: The ABCs of the River
A bilingual picture book introducing children to the wonders of nature and poetry.
by Alma Flor Ada
English version by Rosalma Zubizarreta-Ada
Illustrations by Gabhor Utomo
Publication Date: May 31, 2020
Imprint: Piñata Books
“Still, silent water / starts to run / dancing over rocks, turning into song.” Acclaimed children’s book author Alma Flor Ada and her daughter Rosalma Zubizarreta-Ada share short poems for children about rivers and the life found along them. There are odes to cicadas, dragonflies, butterflies, fish, frogs and birds. “Dragonfly, / lovely fan of lace / wings fluttering / unceasingly, / above the river’s water.”
These poems brim with the beauty of the natural world and the joy found in the great outdoors. There are stars that bathe in the river, the sun that hides behind the mountain and a stream that wraps itself in shadows. In one verse, the authors note there’s only a short distance from the river to the freeway leading back to the crowded, noisy city, “yet those few kilometers / allow us to dwell / in a very different world.”
Reflecting time spent with family enjoying nature, these poems were conceived while Alma Flor Ada camped along the Yuba River with her daughter, Rosalma Zubizarreta-Ada, who created the English-language versions. With gorgeous illustrations by Gabhor Utomo depicting the countryside and kids playing at a river, this bilingual picture book introduces children to both the joy of poetry and spending time outside.