|Coquies still sing
Author: Gonzalez, Karina Nicole
Co-qui, co-qui! The coqui frogs sing to Elena from her family's beloved mango tree-their calls so familiar that they might as well be singing, "You are home, you are safe." But home is suddenly not safe when a hurricane threatens to destroy everything that Elena knows.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/22)
The Hornbook (00/09/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 07/22/2022 PreS-Gr 2—The strength and hope of a young girl, her family, and her country after a devastating hurricane is shared in this beautiful picture book. When Hurricane María makes landfall in Puerto Rico, Elena and her family take refuge in their home, hiding in the closet as the rain falls in sheets and the wind howls, tearing off the roof and soaking everything in its path. In the aftermath, the mango tree that provided shade, sweet mangoes, and a perch for the coquíes that share their nightly song, stands bare and battered. The coquíes go quiet. Elena's family and their neighbors work to repair their homes, creating a garden where they share fruits and vegetables. Eventually, the mango tree provides shade again, and they hear the song of the coquíes once more. The heartfelt, lyrical text conveys the resilience of Elena and her family; each sentence is full of a simplicity and beauty---in both English and Spanish editions. Even when describing how Elena's family is preparing for what would be one of the most destructive hurricanes in Puerto Rican history, each word is necessary and each sentence reads as an essential part of a larger poem. Readers will sing along with Elena to the lyrical "Co-quí, co-qui" tune, the joy the song brings evident on the characters' faces. The gouache and acrylic illustrations are vibrant and magical, illuminating Elena's home as she shares time with her family and pulling readers into a darkness as the hurricane makes landfall. VERDICT An inspiring picture book full of love and wonder for Puerto Rico, it is highly recommended for library collections for children.—Selenia Paz - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/01/2023 González’s poignant words and Quiles’ vibrant, soft illustrations combine to tell the story of the rebuilding of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017, as protagonist Elena’s family survives the natural disaster and then works to rebuild their home and community. In a series of heart-wrenching images, Elena and her family shelter inside during the hurricane, watching it destroy their home and everything they care about: their beloved mango tree, the roof of their home, and their neighbors' homes. When they emerge from the rubble, the natural beauty of the island is gone—or at least seems forever changed. As Elena and her family work to adapt to their new lives and piece their home back together, the return of the native coqui frogs and their song reminds her of the resilience and strength of Puerto Rico. The book’s glossary and author’s note provide more background about the events that inspired this book and the Spanish vocabulary used. The text, published in both English and Spanish versions, pairs with the textured and multidimensional illustrations to share this emotional and moving story about family and survival. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.