Laughing Crocodiles

Laughing Crocodiles
Antón Pirulero

Book Description

This oversize anthology, with vibrant and original illustrations, includes poetry from the oral tradition and honors poets from various Spanish-speaking countries or regions.

Each section opens with a poem to the country or region. This is followed with a poem about a poet –as a way of making children aware that poetry is the product of poets which we respect and honor. Selections from the specific poet completes the section. The countries and poets included are:

Puerto Rico is represented by poems by

  • Isabel Freire de Matos

México is represented by poems by

  • Amado Nervo

Guatemala is represented by poems by

  • Humberto Ak’abal

Cuba is represented by poems by

  • Dora Alonso

Latinos are celebrated through poems by

  • Ernesto Galarza

Author’s Note

Poetry is a child’s best friend. A poem is a treasure that can remain with us forever. New words, new structures, new images, ideas, values and reflections can be part of the poem’s gift. Rhyme, rhythm or cadence will facilitate remembering it.

A poem a day is an infallible prescription for an engaging classroom and happy children. Facilitating access of children to poetry has been one of my life quests.

Many years ago, in what now seems as another life time, when my children were growing up in Perú I was able to publish in Lima four poetry anthologies Poesía Menuda, Poesía Pequeña, Poesía Infantil, Poesía Niña.

Later I was able to incorporate wonderful poetry in the Hagamos caminos reading program.

Publishing Días y días de poesía an anthology with a poem for each day of the year has been one of my greatest satisfactions in life. I know many classrooms have incorporated the idea of “a poem a day” thanks to that anthology. Collaborating with Lee Bennet Hopkins and Violet Harris to create the English companion to Días y días de poesía, the multicultural anthology A Chorus of Cultures was an equally joyful experience.

Isabel Campoy 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 Isabel and myself immense satisfaction.

Poetry Series Gateways to the Sun

These poetry anthologies are divided in sections featuring poets from various countries from the Spanish speaking world. The sections open with original poems by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy celebrating the poets and the poet’s country of origin. Selected poems by the featured poet completes each section. The contribution of Latinos is acknowledged as well as that of the anonymous poets who created the rhymes of the traditional folklore, enriching our heritage.

Art Series Gateways to the Sun

A wide variety of genres, techniques, media, and historical events in Hispanic art are depicted in these oversize strikingly beautiful books. Each book includes reproductions of paintings selected from the best Hispanic artists of all times, from classical to contemporary. Each painting is accompanied by brief poetic readings.

Each book is paired with an interactive journal where children can learn more about art and begin their own artistic expressions.

Biography Series Gateways to the Sun

This series offers the biographies of twelve significant figures from various countries in the Spanish-speaking world, representing various fields and occupations. These historical and contemporary figures are role models, who overcame obstacles to make a difference in the world.


Theater Series Gateways to the Sun

Theatrical adaptations of well known stories and folktales as well as original plays are enhanced by beautiful art. The illustrations, by several Hispanic artists, suggest costumes, props and stage designs to help on the staging of the play

Language Series Gateways to the Sun

These fractured fairy tales books bring new twists to the lives of well-loved characters from storybooks. They provide ample opportunities for language development as they use diverse forms of language.

Hispanic Lands Series Gateways to the Sun

Three oversize books on the richness and diversity of the Spanish-speaking countries of the Americas. The poetic, but highly informative text, brings attention to the extraordinary achievement of the indigenous people. The striking illustrations are carefully designed by Maestro Felipe Dávalos. They offer ample information to support and enrich the text that reflects on the responses of human groups to the challenges of their environment, and emphasize respect towards diversity, environmental and ecological awareness, community involvement, and appreciation for education.


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