Fuego, Fuegito/ Fire, Little Fire

Piñata. Oct. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781558858879.
PreS-Gr 2–Prize-winning poet and children’s author Argueta offers a simple picture book in verse about fire. The Spanish text built with minor repetitive patterns is accompanied by an English translation written in rhyme. Preschool age children will learn that fire may be found everywhere: in erupting volcanoes or by rubbing sticks of wood or stones. Fire can also be born out of thunder or found in a stove. The Spanish and English text is organized on the verso with black medium-size font set on a yellow mustard page brushed with almost invisible curved red lines and accompanying whole page eloquent illustrations on the recto. Alcántara immerses readers in the poetry through depictions of fire that express the verses using layers of red, yellow, and orange while intertwining with dark blue in the sky representing evening and night scenes. These illustrations add imagery and creativity with curve lines that play with the figures in a loosely geometrical design. The back matter contains the whole poem in Nahuat language. This book could be used in a bilingual storytime addressing one of the elements of nature, perfect to complement the children’s poetry collection in public libraries.
VERDICT With simple verse and vibrant illustrations, this picture book celebrates the power of fire and the author’s Pipil Nahua Indian heritage.

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