René Has Two Last Names / René tiene dos apellidos
An engaging bilingual picture book about a boy’s clever efforts to help his classmates understand a Hispanic cultural tradition.
by René Colato Laínez
Illustrations by Fabiola Graullera Ramírez
Publication Date: October 31, 2009
Imprint: Piñata Books
Out of stock
“On the first day at my new school, my teacher, Miss Soria, gave me a sticker that said René Colato. The sticker was missing my second last name. Maybe Miss Soria’s pen ran out of ink. I took my pencil and added it. Now it looked right: René Colato Laínez.”
Young René is from El Salvador, and he doesn’t understand why his name has to be different in the United States. When he writes Colato, he sees his paternal grandparents, René and Amelia. When he writes Laínez, he sees his maternal grandparents, Angela and Julio. Without his second last name, René feels incomplete, “like a hamburger without the meat or a pizza without cheese or a hot dog without a wiener.”
His new classmates giggle when René tells them his name. “That’s a long dinosaur name,” one says. “Your name is longer than an anaconda,” another laughs. But René doesn’t want to lose the part of him that comes from his mother’s family. So when the students are given a project to create a family tree, René is determined to explain the importance of using both of his last names. On the day of his presentation, René explains that he is as hard-working as Abuelo René, who is a farmer, and as creative as his Abuela Amelia, who is a potter. He can tell stories like his Abuelo Julio and enjoys music like his Abuela Angela.
This charming bilingual picture book for children ages 4 – 8 combines the winning team of author René Colato Laínez and illustrator Fabiola Graullera Ramírez, and follows their award-winning collaboration, I Am René, the Boy / Soy René, el niño. With whimsical illustrations and entertaining text, this sequel is sure to please fans and gain many new ones while explaining an important Hispanic cultural tradition.
Named to the 2010-2011 Tejas Star Reading List
2010 Américas Award Commended Title
2010 Skipping Stones Honor Award
“The significance of a Hispanic tradition respecting both sides of a child’s parentage is well explained in this example of cultural difference.”—Kirkus Reviews
RENÉ COLATO LAÍNEZ came to the United States from El Salvador as a teen, and he writes about his experiences in children’s books such as Waiting for Papá / Esperando a Papá (Piñata Books, 2004) and I Am René, the Boy / Soy René, el niño (Piñata Books, 2005), which received Special Recognition in the 2006 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People. His book, Playing Lotería / El juego de la lotería (Luna Rising, 2005), was a finalist in the 2007-2008 Tejas Star Book Award, was named to Críticas magazine’s “Best Children’s Books” of 2005 and received the 2008 New Mexico Book Award for Best Children’s Book. René is a graduate of the Vermont College MFA program in Writing for Children & Young Adults and a bilingual elementary teacher at Fernangeles Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
FABIOLA GRAULLERA RAMIREZ, a native of Mexico City, graduated from UNAM’s National School of Fine Arts with a degree in Graphic Communication. Her work has been part of collective exhibits in Mexico and Spain. She has illustrated many picture books, including I Am René, the Boy / Soy René, el niño (Piñata Books, 2005).
ATOS Interest Level: Lower Grades
Category: Picture Book
ATOS English: 3.1
ATOS Spanish: 4
SPANISH LEXILE: AD610L
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 133833