Fuego, Fuegito / Fire, Little Fire
This trilingual picture book written in lyrical verse
recounts the renewing force of fire from the point of view of one little spark.
by Jorge Tetl Argueta
Illustrations by Felipe Ugalde Alcántara
Publication Date: October 31, 2019
Trim: 8.5″ x 11″
Imprint: Piñata Books
“My name is Fire / but everyone calls me / Little Fire.” In this beautiful, poetic ode to the invigorating power of fire, award-winning children’s book author Jorge Argueta describes—in English, Spanish and Nahuat—the characteristics of fire from the perspective of one little flame.
From its birth as a spark, Little Fire flits like a firefly and plays hide and seek inside a volcano. He grows between two sticks rubbed together or on a stone that strikes another. Little Fire is red, yellow, orange and turquoise. “I look like the sun / but I am no sun. / I am Fire, Little Fire / who laughs, / who dances.” Little Fire sings, “sizzle, / hiss, / whoosh, / crackle, crackle.”
With stunningly beautiful illustrations by Felipe Ugalde Alcántara that depict the natural world, this poem about the importance of fire reflects Argueta’s indigenous roots and his appreciation for nature. Containing the English and Spanish text on each page, the entire poem appears at the end in Nahuat, the language of Argueta’s Pipil-Nahua ancestors. The sequel to Agua, Agüita / Water, Little Water, this book is an excellent choice to encourage children to write their own poems about the environment.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
“Argueta’s playful trilingual homage to fire spans its incarnation from spark to lava flow. Full-page blazes of oranges, yellows, reds and indigo underscore the simple narrative of the poem. A gentle exploration of culture and nature.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“VERDICT: With simple verse and vibrant illustrations, this picture book celebrates the power of fire and the author’s Pibil Nahua Indian heritage.”
—School Library Journal
“Fire may not receive as much devoted literature as other elements, but Argueta concisely depicts its potential, front its more dangerous manifestations like volcanic eruptions and wildfires to its more familiar presence in our kitchens and campfires.”—Booklist
“A lyrical journey through the water cycle, sure to inspire the imaginations of young readers and listeners.”
—School Library Journal (starred review) on Agua, Agüita / Water, Little Water
“With tenderness and humanity, this bilingual book describes the hopes, fears, and uncertainties of the thousands of displaced children that arrive every year at the southern border of the United States . . . Poignant, heartbreaking, and sadly, timely.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds
“Extremely vital.”—Booklist (starred review) on Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds
JORGE ARGUETA is a prize-winning poet and author of more than twenty children’s picture books, including Una película en mi almohada / A Movie in My Pillow (Children’s Book Press, 2001); Guacamole: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem (Groundwood Books, 2016); Agua, Agüita / Water, Little Water (Piñata Books, 2017); and Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds (Groundwood Books, 2016), which won the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and was named to USBBY’s Outstanding International Book List, the ALA Notable Children’s Books and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices. Agua, Agüita / Water, Little Water won the inaugural Campoy-Ada Award in Children’s Poetry given by the Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española. A Pipil Nahua Indian, Jorge is also the founder of The Library of Dreams in his native El Salvador, a non-profit organization that promotes literacy in both rural and metropolitan areas. Jorge divides his time between San Francisco, California, and El Salvador.
FELIPE UGALDE ALCÁNTARA was born in Mexico City and studied Graphic Communication at the National University of Mexico’s School of Art. He illustrated Mother Fox and Mr. Coyote / Mamá Zorra y Don Coyote (Piñata Books, 2004) and Little Crow to the Rescue / El Cuervito al rescate (Piñata Books, 2005).