The Coquíes Still Sing: A Story of Home, Hope, and Rebuilding

Macmillan Audio. Jun. 2023. 8p. $1.99. ISBN 9781250900746.
PreS-Gr 2–González’s debut received 2023 Pura Belpré Honors for both text and illustration. The audio arrives almost a year after the print, lyrically performed by softly accented Gómez (who narrates both English and Spanish editions) over an enhanced background soundtrack—a mango dropping, radio reporting, coquíes singing. Elena lives in Puerto Rico, enjoying the “many gifts” of her family’s shady mango tree, joining in the nightly songs of the endemic coquí frogs. Despite all the precautions, a hurricane causes devastation throughout their island, even silencing the coquíes. “They will come back and so will all of this,” Papi promises. Months of grueling work unite and strengthen their community; the coquíes finally sing again.
VERDICT González reveals the sober reality of Hurricane Maria’s massive 2017 island-wide destruction, and the U.S.’s failure to respond adequately to its own territory. Her lauded book—in any language—provides an inspiring, affecting antidote.

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