This isn’t at all what I expected to do with my few minutes spare this morning before the children wake up, but I’ve been so moved by the images of the miners being rescued that I felt I had to mark the occasion somehow. So here is a list of some picture books based in Chile
Mia’s Story by Michael Foreman
Mia lives with her family in a small Chilean village beneath the snowy mountains. Their house is put together from the dumped rubbish of the city – it is not much of a place. One day, Mia’s father brings her a puppy, which she calls Poco because he’s so small. When Poco runs away, Mia travels far up into the mountains to search for him. There, she finds some white mountain flowers, growing under the stars, as well as something much more powerful – hope.
Mariana and the Merchild: A Folk Tale from Chile by Caroline Pitcher , illustrated by Jackie Morris
Old Mariana longs for friendship, but she is feared by the village children and fearful of the hungry sea-wolves hiding in the sea-caves near her hut. Then one day she finds a Merbaby inside a crabshell and at once she loves it more than life itself – although she knows that one day, when the sea is calm again, the Merchild’s mother will come to take her daughter back.
A Pen Pal for Max by Gloria Rand, illustrated by Ted Rand
Maximiliano lives with his family on a farm in Chile. His father works in a vineyard that produces grapes for worldwide distribution. One day Max slips a note with his name, address, and a request for a pen pal into a box of the fruit. Amazingly, he receives a reply from 10-year-old Maggie, who lives in the U.S. They develop a correspondence comparing their very different lives. When an earthquake strikes Max’s part of the world, Maggie and her friends send supplies to his school.
Chile’s most famous writer (at least translated into English) is Isabel Allende, and she has written at least one book for (older) children – City of the Beasts.
Maria Eugenia Coeymans has written an interesting article available on the IBBY website entitled Searching for Identity: The presence of Cultural and Ethnic Heritage in Chilean Children’s Literature. The article’s biography references several Chilean children’s books (in Spanish).
Here’s hoping that the rescue continues safely and swiftly.