I Am René, the Boy / Soy René, el niño


An engaging bilingual picture book about a boy’s ingenious efforts to gain acceptance.

by René Colato Laínez
Illustrated by Fabiola Graullera Ramírez

ISBN: 978-1-55885-378-2
Publication Date: April 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Imprint: Piñata Books
Age: 3-7

Look Inside


Young René’s teacher is calling roll one morning, and René is dismayed to hear someone else answer to his name. It’s not only that he thought he was the only person with that name, but also that the new student who answers is a girl. That afternoon his classmates tease, “René has a girl’s name.”

After discussing it with Mamá and Papá, René decides, “My name is so beautiful that a girl copied it from me,” not the other way around.  But the next day the new girl sits next to him…is behind him every time they line up…shares her apple with him…and at recess tells him she wants to be his best friend… Everywhere he turns, there’s René the girl.

One day at the library, René discovers a book called The Meaning of Names. With the book tucked under his arm, René endeavors to win the first writing contest of the school year.

Complemented by playful illustrations, this bilingual picture book follows Colato Laínez’s own experiences, when he was faced with a challenge to his own name as a child.  This witty story about a young boy’s odyssey to find out the meaning of his name will challenge readers aged 3 to 7 to chart cross-cultural differences by gaining an understanding about themselves and the people around them.

Click here to listen to the Spanish read-along by René Colato Laínez.