The Piñata Quilt
Author-illustrator, Jane Tenorio-Coscarelli offers a heartwarming look
at a Mexican-American family through the eyes of an aunt who has prepared
a special gift for her nephew's birthday. Albert will soon be leaving
for college, and Tia Lilly has devised a plan to remind him of
his connection to his family and the values instilled in him as a child.
As Tia Lilly wraps Albert's eighteenth birthday present, she
reminisces about the story behind the gift. She remembers that she was
still a young woman when little Albert learned a valuable lesson about
selfishness, honesty, and love. Knowing his tia would make a
perfect piñata, he devised a plan to keep all the treasures
for himself. However, Albert had not counted on the depth of his love
for his tia and the pull of his conscience. On the day of the
party, his family and friends excitedly gathered around the piñata
in sweet anticipation. To their surprise, but not Albert's, the piñata
would not break. When he sees his beloved tia shrink in embarrassment,
he confesses that it was his fault. Albert admits to adding more glue
to the paste when she was not looking. Now, years later, Tia
Lilly's aged fingers have recorded the story in the beautiful piñata
quilt she wraps for Albert.
Tenorio-Coscarelli's watercolor illustrations, enhanced by pen and
ink, provide an authentic expression of the colorful world of the Mexican-American
culture. She creatively frames each illustration with items that reflect
the text, offering the reader a rich visual experience. For example,
when the text refers to terracotta pots, the illustration is framed
with them. Tenorio-Coscarelli draws the reader's attention to the illustrations'
messages by using vivid contrasts of color.
Finally, Tenorio-Coscarelli adds three distinctive touches to The
Piñata Quilt. The first is the Spanish translation of important
words on each page. She adds this feature with the purpose of enticing
young readers to add some Spanish words to their vocabulary. The second
touch is a little mouse that is hidden on each illustration, which invites
the reader to a meticulous review of the illustrations. The last touch
added by Tenorio-Coscarelli is the pattern and instructions for making
a piñata quilt.
This book is better used as a read aloud than as a reader. To learn
more about Tenorio-Coscarelli, visit her website at http://www.quarterinchpublishing.com.
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