Dreaming Fish

Book Descrip­tion

This over­size anthol­ogy, with vibrant and orig­i­nal illus­tra­tions, includes pop­u­lar poetry from the oral tra­di­tion as well as poems from poets from var­i­ous Spanish-speaking coun­tries and regions:

Puerto Rico is rep­re­sented by poems by

  • Isabel Freire de Matos
  • Fran­cisco Matos Paoli
  • Luis Rechani Agrait
  • Rafael Rivera Otero

Méx­ico is rep­re­sented by poems by

  • Roberto López Moreno
  • Elías Nandino
  • Amado Nervo
  • Gilda Rincón

Argentina is rep­re­sented by poems by

  • Tomás Allende Iragori
  • María Elena Walsh

Lati­nos are cel­e­brated by the poems

  • Aquí vivi­mos
  • Niños poetas
  • Mae­stros y maes­tras poetas

Author’s Note

I like to say that “poetry is the skin of beauty”, “La poesía es la piel de la belleza” and I try to find the words to inspire children to see poetry, feel it, and fall in love with it. When I was growing up in Spain I attended a school (The Teresianas Sisters) in which during the classes devoted to sewing, drawing and anything else that didn’t require silence, the teacher would ask a student to come in front of the class and read a story, poetry or a play. This, she said, would help the mind to concentrate in a manual work.

Because I had a good voice and I liked to be involved in theatre, I was frequently chosen to be that “reader”. Most of the time I was given the text to read, but sometimes, the techer was so busy  (we used to be 45 to 50 students per class) that she would just say: “read what you like”  –and so I did. I fell in love with Federico García Lorca, because my father introduced me to his poetry at home, and I used to bring my father’s books to school, in case I had the chance to read from them…which it was the case many times.

Alma Flor Ada and I have pub­lished a series of seven antholo­gies of poetry in Span­ish as part of the Cielo abierto Series: Gor­rión gor­rión, La rama azul, El Verde limón, Dulce es la sal, Nuevo día, Huer­tos de Coral and Ríos de lava. We are delighted to have included there poetry from the best poets from the Spanish-speaking world.

Recently we have pub­lished a series of books of rhymes from the oral tra­di­tion in bilin­gual edi­tions, in order that Eng­lish speak­ers can also get to know and enjoy our folk­lore: ¡Pío Peep! and MuuMoo are col­lec­tions of rhymes. Merry Navi­dad is a col­lec­tion of vil­lan­ci­cos or Christ­mas car­ols, and Ten Lit­tle Puppies/Diez per­ri­tos a book inspired on a tra­di­tional pop­u­lar rhyme.

The four poetry antholo­gies of Gate­ways to the Sun / Puer­tas al sol, in par­al­lel edi­tions in Eng­lish and Span­ish are another con­tri­bu­tion in the effort to make poetry acces­si­ble to all chil­dren. The beau­ti­ful pre­sen­ta­tion of these books, where the artis­tic illus­tra­tions are a wor­thy com­pan­ion to the poems gives both Alma Flor and myself immense satisfaction.