Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Park Our Town Built / El parque que nuestro pueblo construyó Wins Bronze Moonbeam Children's Book Award!

Raven Tree Press (McHenry, IL) is proud to announce that the book The Park Our Town Built / El parque nuestro pueblo construyó has won the prestigious Moonbeam Bronze Medal in the "Multicultural Picture Book" category.

Presented by the Jenkins Group and Independent Publisher Online, the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children's books and their creators, and to celebrate children's books and life-long reading. Each year's entries are judged by expert panels of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages. As our society has gotten more complex and growing up has become more complicated, children's book authors and publishers have risen to the occasion, creating books that not only celebrate the joys of childhood, but also help kids and families deal with its challenges. The Moonbeam Awards recognize and reward the best of these books and bring them to the attention of parents, booksellers, librarians, parents and children.

The Park Our Town Built, released May 2011, is available in an English-only edition and an embedded text bilingual English/Spanish edition in which the story is presented mostly in English with keywords in Spanish sprinkled within its context.

Written by Diane Gonzales Bertrand (San Antonio, TX)
Illustrated by Tanja Bauerle (Gilbert, AZ)

Hardcover English only Edition $16.95 ISBN 9781936299140
Hardcover Bilingual Edition $16.95 ISBN 9781936299126

The mayor wants a community park and safe playground for the children. She enlists a group of kids to join her in asking one of the citizens to donate some of his land. When he agrees, he joins all the families and friends who set out to build swings, benches, gardens, and a fountain. There is excitement and a sense of purpose to build the park for all to enjoy. The whole town comes together to create a beautiful park and celebrate with a grand picnic and beautiful fireworks when the job is done.

The narrative text builds line by line and page by page, using repetition and imagery to create a charming story for young readers. Vocabulary recognition and matching pictures to the text help readers gain confidence in both comprehension skills and predicting a sequence of events.

Raven Tree Press is an independent children's picture book publisher specializing in bilingual books in English and Spanish. The publishing house is a division of Delta Systems Co., Inc. of McHenry, IL.

Each 32-page picture book features family-oriented storylines and beautiful illustrations. The hardcover books ($16.95) and paperback books ($7.95) are available at independent and chain bookstores, online booksellers and at the Publisher's website www.raventreepress.com.

ForeWord Review - "The Park Our Town Built"

Here is a great review of "The Park Our Town Built" that ran in the August issues of ForeWord Review.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

The US Census Bureau reports there are 17.3 million Spanish–speaking residents in the United States today—thus expanding the market for bilingual illustrated children’s offerings to 4,900 books in print today. The Park Our Town Built/El Parque Que Nuestro Pueblo Construyó, byDiane Gonzales Bertrand, enters the genre with a twist.
The author’s unique format is akin to age–old songs, many relating to holidays, which zigzagacross cultural and religious boundaries, each verse building on the one before. The Twelve Days of Christmas and the Passover song, Dayenu, are well–known examples from Judeo Christian songbooks. In The Park Our Town Built, each page’s vocabulary builds on the preceding page in sync with the story development, using Spanish for significant concept words.

Generally, bilingual books are set up with a clear separation between the languages, with one on the left and the other on the right. A second style displays one language throughout a story tothe end, with a second language version available when the reader flips the book over. Gonzales Bertrand’s convention of accumulation enhances the readability factor in this title.
In addition to the language lesson, the sweet story line encourages cooperation as the public and private citizens of the town unite to build a public park. The narrative conveys some important points to young readers. The female Alcaldesa (the mayor) character, sends the message that jobs are not gender–specific; a woman in a wheelchair enjoying the celebration of the park opening shows a handicapped person fully participating in the festivities; a well–off resident donating the land for the park; another contributing the tools and the children and adultsworking in unison for a common goal.
Tanja Bauerle’s colorful, spirited illustrations convey a strong sense of community, showcasingadults, children, and animals in various hairstyles, manner of dress, and ethnicities dancing and playing together. A town where prejudice of all kinds is outmoded, the pueblo in this story isinspirational. Both text and illustrations are joyful and energetic, entertaining for children and hopeful to an adult reading aloud.
A Vocabulary Page at the end of the story gives readers a concise an accurate translation between English and Spanish terminology. The location of this resource at the back of the book adds to the fun as the reader learns to place the words in context, a vital critical thinking skill.

Julie Eakin, Book Review Editor

ForeWord Reviews

"The Park Our Town Built" is featured in the CBC Fall 2011 Seasonal Showcase

Great News! The Park Our Town Built will be a featured book in the Fall 2011 Seasonal Showcase of the Children's Book Council. The “Starting From Scratch” booklist will be featured on the CBC website starting September 29th, so our "Park" book will be rotated onto the site within a couple weeks from that date. Check out the CBC site at http://www.cbcbooks.org/ .