Con el sol en los ojos/With the Sun in My Eyes

tr. from Spanish by Janet Glass. illus. by Morteza Zahedi. 32p. CIP. Groundwood. 2012. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-55498-158-8.
Gr 2–4—Simple, free-verse poems cultivate a child's imagination-of corn kernels in the air that become constellations, of a doll being unloved, of exploring the silence within, of capturing the sun's reflection in objects. An internationally acclaimed poet and illustrator partner to create a splendid work of art. Mixed-media illustrations combine contemporary, innovative techniques, utilizing paper scrapping, watercolors, and stamping set against monochrome backgrounds to enhance the imaginative ambience of the poems. Pastels and earth-tones color the pleasant Picasso-like figures, some full-bodied and others just containing outlines. Fish float in the air after nibbling a boy's toes. A kite floats in the sky, pulling children into the air. Spanish and English texts sit side by side, allowing readers to compare the sounds and rhymes of the words. The complexity and vocabulary of some of the lengthier poems may be difficult for younger readers to grasp. The translation adequately reflects the original poems. An excellent addition to libraries and language-learning activities.—Cristi Jenkins, Fort Vancouver Regional Library, WA
Presented in both Spanish and English, short free-verse poems detail such small, memorable moments as feet in a lake or a walk alone. The best of the English translations preserve rhythmic flow despite the language shift, but some fall flat. Recurring imagery of suns and celestial objects is mirrored by Zahedi's stylized mixed-media illustrations and by the yellow or blue page colors.
In this charming collection, Jorge Luján illuminates the wonder a boy and girl feel while exploring the world. Janet Glass’s translation captures the meaning and essence of each poem in English. The accessible poems are surprisingly complex and will interest a broad range of readers. Luján highlights the small, unexpected delights of life: newly hatched chicks, fish that nibble toes, and “laughter that explodes for no reason.” Morteza Zahedi’s mixed-media illustrations, densely saturated with color, are a dreamy combination of the representational and the surreal.

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