First First Day in Grapes (Pura Belpre Honor Book. Illustrator (Awards))

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9781584300458: First First Day in Grapes (Pura Belpre Honor Book. Illustrator (Awards))

Chicos migrant family moves often making it difficult for him to make friends and fit in. But third grade seems different. His teacher and classmates are quick to appreciate his excellent math skills. Using his quick mind, Chico cleverly outwits the fourth-grade bullies and gains confidence by showing that it is possible to stand up to seemingly impossible odds and win.

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About the Author:

L. King Perez has won many awards for her fiction and poetry. She based the story of Chico on her husband's experiences growing up as a migrant child. She lives in Dayton, Ohio.

Robert Casilla is the illustrator of several award-winning children's books, including Jalapeno Bagels, an ALA Notable Book, Daddy Poems, a Children's Choices Selection, and The Little Painter of Sabana Grande, a Reading Rainbow book. A full-time illustrator, Robert Casilla lives in Yonkers, New York with his family.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-3-Chico's family leads a nomadic existence, following California's crops. Places don't have names but rather are associated with whatever fruit or vegetable is being harvested. The story begins as they arrive at a place simply identified as "a camp in grapes." Chico is understandably apprehensive about starting third grade at yet another new school because his previous experiences involved bullying and name calling. He meets an intimidating bus driver and a kind teacher, gets a chance to display his excellent math skills, makes new friends, and has a playground face-off with some notorious bullies. With enough positives to compensate for the challenges, the child finishes his first day of the school year with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Reminiscent of Francisco Jimenez's La Mariposa (Houghton, 1998; o.p.), this story also sheds light on the life of migrant children in a poignant, balanced manner. While some of the hardships are left unexplored, this title will serve as a launching point for discussions about the migrant experience. Although a bit static, the watercolor, colored-pencil, and pastel illustrations bring warmth and color to this portrait of life in rural California.
Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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