From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems / Del ombligo de la luna y otros poemas de verano
By Francisco Alarcón
Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez
From the Bellybutton of the Moon is renowned poet Francisco X. Alarcón's fresh collection of 22 bilingual poems inspired by his touching recollections of childhood summers in Mexico.
With a poet's magical vision, Alarcón takes us back to his childhood when he traveled with his family to Mexico to visit his grandma and other relatives. We travel with him in the family station wagon, across the misty mountain range to the little town of Atoyac. There, in the beloved town of his ancestors, we hear his grandma's stories, sample Auntie Reginalda's tasty breakfasts, learn about the keys to the universe, and take playful dips in the warm sea.
The lighthearted illustrations of Maya Christina Gonzalez perfectly capture the spirit of summer in Alarcón's Mexico where "colors are more colorful, tastes are tastier, and even time seems to slow down."
Audio Podcast with Francisco Alarcon and Maya Christina Gonzalez
Watch Francisco Alarcon's interview with Reading Rockets
For educator resources and ideas on how to teach From the Bellybutton of the Moon in the classroom, click here.
About the Creators
was a renowned poet and educator, and a three-time winner of the Pura Belpré Author Award Honor for his bilingual Magical Cycle of the Seasons series of poetry for children. His many other honors include the American Book Award, the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, the Chicano Literary Prize, and finalist for state poet laureate of California. Alarcón was also the author of several poetry collections for adults and textbooks for teaching Spanish. In addition, he directed the Spanish for Native Speakers Program at the University of California. Alarcón passed away in early 2016.
is a widely exhibited artist renowned for her vivid imagery of strong women and girls. She has illustrated nearly twenty children’s books, and her artwork has appeared on the cover of Contemporary Chicano/a Art. My Colors, My World was the first book Maya both wrote and illustrated. Books that Maya illustrated include Laughing Tomatoes, From the Bellybutton of the Moon, and Angels Ride Bikes. She lives and plays in San Francisco, California.