This oversize anthology, with vibrant and original illustrations, includes three plays that young children will delight in reading and acting.
The vibrant and delightful illustrations complement the story of the plays while also offer suggestions on how they can be staged and represented. The three plays included are:
In the English Book
In the Spanish book
Regalos de Navidad
an original play by Alma Flor Ada which shows that things are not always what they seem to be, and that sometimes tricks and pranks can have unsuspected consequences
La bicicleta de Carlota
an original play by F. Isabel Campoy
a playful retelling, in verse, of the traditional tale by Alma Flor Ada
About the Theatre Series of the Gateways to the Sun Collection
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. There are four matching anthologies in English and Spanish.
Author’s Not from Alma Flor Ada
Promoting that children have access to read and act plays has always been one of my basic concerns. Even if it is done with great simplicity acting in a play can have very positive results. It certainly was so for me. Encouraged by my extraordinary sixth grade teacher, Dra. Rosa María Peyrellade, I wrote my first play which we performed in class. As a high school student I wrote three plays, and while very simple, my classmates performed them with enthusiasm. We invited the High School Faculty of the Instituto de Camagüey to the premier of one of them, which I entitled La sonámbula or The Sleep-walker. Even though some of the professors did not enjoy the criticism to their very traditional pedagogy which was part of the play, there was enough interested public that we rented the best theatre in town, el Teatro Principal, to give a couple of public performances.
When I became a High School teacher at the Colegio Abraham Lincoln in Lima, Perú, I invited my students to do theatre and we had great fun doing so!
My mother, a coordinator for FLES [Foreign Language in the Elementary School] in Atlanta, Georgia, used theatre very effectively in the teaching of Spanish, and wrote a number of plays that were performed by children and broadcasted via the district TV station.
As a teacher educator in the United States I have continuously emphasized the use of theatre. I have had the privilege of having my mother co-direct with me three different performances of Historia de una muñeca abandonada, by Alfonso Sastre during three summer courses: at the University of Texas, at El Paso, in Philadelphia, and in Puerto Rico. I was later able to continue to invite teachers to perform this outstanding play, in Chicago, through the Associate Colleges of the Midwest, and in Madrid, both at the Universidad Complutense and at the Fundación José Ortega y Gasset. This play is included in in the book Ensayo general.
I am convinced that one is better able to teach something one has enjoyed doing. And just as Isabel Campoy and I emphasize, in our courses of Authors in the Classroom, that teachers who create their own books will be better able to get their students to become authors, I believe that encouraging teachers to do theatre and experiencing the richness of the process would better allow them to incorporate plays in their regular teaching.
For a delightful anecdote that shows the magic of theatre click here: Let’s Raise the Curtain! The Benefit of Theatre in the School.
You can also find more about my personal experience with theatre in the section “It’s Play Time!” in Alma Flor Ada and You volume II, published by Libraries Unlimited.
About the Use of Theatre in the School
The values of the use of involving children with theatre are multiple. Plays can be an excellent tool for promoting the ability to speak in front of a group, which is a leadership skill. Since they offer children the opportunity to utilize words and language registries they may not have other opportunity to use, plays can be strong vehicle for vocabulary and language development.
When used for choral reading plays can strengthen reading skills. In addition, acting on a play enhances children’s self-confidence and self-esteem while providing opportunities to learn about one’s self and others. Most importantly, putting on a play, no matter how simple, promotes the values of collaboration and solidarity.
To read more on the significance of theatre click here: Let’s Raise the Curtain! The Benefit of Theatre in the School and for suggestions on its use in the classroom read the section “Plays and Dramatic Games” in Chapter 3 of The Magical Encounter: Latino Children’s Literature in the Classroom and for dramatic responses to books, see the section “Promoting Dramatic Expression” in Chapter 4 of that same book.
Gathering the Sun/ Puertas al sol Collection Description
This collection highlights the genius, the tenacity and the achievement of Hispanic culture. For Hispanic readers, the collection promotes pride in their culture; for non-Hispanic readers, it fosters an appreciation and an acknowledgment of—and a respect for—Latinos. The collection comprises the following 6 series. Each book and journal is published in separate editions in English and in Spanish.
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
- Rat-a-Tat Cat | Teatro del gato Garabato
- Roll ‘n Role | Teatrín de don Crispín
- Top Hat | Escenario de Polichinela
- Curtains Up | Teatro de doña Rosita
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.
- One, Two, Three… Who Can It Be? | Uno, dos, tres. ¡Dime, quién es?
- A New Home for the Seven Little Kids | El nuevo hogar de los siete cabritos
- Happy Birthday, Little Red Riding Hood | ¡Feliz cumpleaños, Caperucita Roja!
- A New Job for Pérez, the Mouse | Ratoncito Pérez, cartero
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.
- The Quetzal’s Journey | El vuelo del quetzal
- On the Wings of the Condor | En alas del cóndor
- Eyes of the Jaguar | Ojos del jaguar
If you have enjoyed reading or sharing this book, I would very much like to hear from you. Please click here to send your comments.