National Poetry Month Kid Lit Review of “From the Bellybutton of the Moon” by Francisco X. Alarcon

This bilingual collection of 22 poems was inspired by the author’s recollections of childhood summers in Mexico. Some of the poems, like “Green Grass” are quite short “We love/ to go shoeless/ on green grass/ Mother Earth/ loves to tickle/ our bare feet/”) and some, like “Ancient Wisdom” are longer. Some are written as part of the design of the illustration, like “Water Wheel” in which the poem whirls around circles of blue and white water, or “Sea” in which the words are part of the waves. All are presented in both English and Spanish on the same page.

Maya Christina Gonzalez’s illustrations resemble folk paintings, with bold colors and happy scenes of summer fun and close family life. The text and design are innovatively complementary, which adds to the impact of the whole.

All in all, this is a joyous production, and a most pleasing way to teach children another language.

Rating: 4/5

Published by Children’s Book Press, 1998; First Trade Paper Edition edition, 2005

Product Details
Reading level: Ages 6 and up
Paperback: 32 pages
Language: English and Spanish
ISBN-10: 0892392010
ISBN-13: 978-0892392018

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8 Responses to National Poetry Month Kid Lit Review of “From the Bellybutton of the Moon” by Francisco X. Alarcon

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    “Green Grass” is just about my speed when it comes to poetry. I love the illustrations in that book!

  2. I love this artwork – can’t imagine walking past the book and not wanting to pick it up!

  3. Staci@LifeintheThumb says:

    Those paintings are just gorgeous!!!!

  4. stacybuckeye says:

    Well, you know my guy likes belly buttons so this may be just the book for him 🙂

  5. bookingmama says:

    I love the illustrations. Thanks for sharing.

  6. sagustocox says:

    I love the bright colors of the illustrations and how well they must bring out the power of the simple poems.

  7. zibilee says:

    Oh, my! I love all the various shades of blue used in some of these illustrations! I think the vividness of the colors in this book would keep me flipping pages, eagerly gobbling this one up. Great choice for today!

  8. parrish lantern says:

    loving the pictures with the poetry.

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