Reviews for Cesar : Si, Se Puede!/ Yes, We Can!


Booklist Reviews 2004 October #2
Gr. 3-6. In a series of free-verse poems, Bernier-Grand dramatizes the defining experiences in the life of a future activist: thinning lettuces with a back-breaking, short-handled hoe; attending more than 30 different schools as the migrant family "followed the crops . . . / Stopping wherever ripeness hung." Children unfamiliar with Chavez may find Kathleen Krull's traditional picture-book biography Harvesting Hope (2003) more accessible than these lyrical snapshots, which blend description, narration, and quotes from Chavez in a sometimes confusing manner. However, as part of a broader exploration, Bernier-Grand's contribution will lend texture and immediacy to an inspiring life story. End matter includes a chronology, source notes, an afterword that fleshes out events in the poems, and a glossary to the Spanish and Mexican American vocabulary. Diaz's stylized images aren't as child friendly as Yuyi Morales' illustrations for Harvesting Hope, but the saintly golden glow emanating from his figures certainly reinforces the obvious admiration behind the words. Expect increasing demand for material on Chavez and the United Farm Workers as more states launch official celebrations of Cesar Chavez Day (March 31). ((Reviewed October 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Spring
A series of nineteen free-verse poems depict Cesar Chavez's life and legacy, focusing on his legendary fight against injustice toward farm workers. Some Spanish words and sentences appearing within the poems add authenticity but may disturb the flow for readers who must look up their meaning in the book's glossary. Diaz's rather bland digital art frames key images in yellow. Timeline, websites. Bib. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2004 September #1
Aimed at slightly older children than Kathleen Krull's Harvesting Hope (2003), this powerful biography in poems relates incidents in the life of CÚsar Ch├ívez with insight and a sense of wonder. "Who could tell / that he with a soft pan dulce voice, / hair the color of mesquite, / and downcast, Aztec eyes, / would have the courage to speak up / for the campesinos." At the time of his death, CÚsar did not own a car and had never owned a house. The final words of the last poem are Ch├ívez's own, and a fitting tribute: "True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire." The numerous Spanish phrases will make reading aloud a challenge for non-Spanish speakers, but learning to do so is worth the effort. Backmatter includes notes, a chronology, a list of sources, a prose narrative, a selection from Ch├ívez's own words, and an extensive glossary. Diaz's softly beautiful and illuminating illustrations add much to this already rich celebration of CÚsar's life and legacy. (Poetry/biography. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 October
Gr 2-6-The life and times of Cesar Chavez are vividly re-created in this collection of poems. Where most biographies stick to the facts of what a person did, this one also touches on the man's character and values. Children will learn about Chavez, but, more importantly, they will learn the important lessons he taught, and they will be able to apply them to their own lives. The lyrical language describes events and paints evocative pictures to which children will relate. Diaz's stylized, computer-drawn, folk-art illustrations capture the subject's private and public life, from the images of picking fruit to peaceful demonstrations. A glossary and translation of the Spanish words used, a concise well-written biographical essay, and famous Chavez quotes are appended. An excellent choice for most libraries.-Scott La Counte, Anaheim Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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