Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems / Jitomates Risueños y otros poemas de primavera
By Francisco Alarcón
Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez
From the imagination of poet Francisco X. Alarcón comes Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems, a playful and moving collection of twenty poems in English and Spanish.
Tomatoes laugh, chiles explode, and tortillas applaud the sun! With joy and tenderness, delight and sadness, Alcarcón's poems honor the wonders of life and nature: welcoming the morning sun, remembering his grandmother's songs, paying tribute to children working in the fields, and sharing his dream of a world filled with gardens.
Artist Maya Christina Gonzalez invites us to experience the poems with her lively cast of characters—including a spirited grandma, four vivacious children, and playful pets who tease and delight. Follow them from page to page as they bring each poem to colorful life.
Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems is a verbal and visual treat, giving us twenty opportunities to see everything for the first time.
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 Laughing Tomatoes 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 an award-winning children’s book artist, author, activist and progressive educator. Her work addresses systemic inequity in relation to race/ethnicity, sexism and cissexism using children’s books as radical agents of change and healing, both personally and culturally. She co-founded Reflection Press, a POC, queer and trans owned independent publishing house that uses holistic, nature-based, and anti-oppression frameworks in their books and materials for kids and grown-ups. She is also the creator of the Gender Wheel, a tool to express the dynamic, infinite and inclusive reality of gender, and provides lectures and workshops to educators, parents and caregivers. Visit her online at mayagonzalez.com.