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Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English
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Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  147 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
In simple words and sun-drenched paintings, Alma Flor Ada and Simón Silva take us into the fields and orchards, and into the lives of the people who work them. Simple poems in Spanish and English, one for each letter of the Spanish alphabet, describe the wonder of the vegetable and fruit farms. Together, the poems and the rich illustrations celebrate the glory of nature an ...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published October 9th 2001 by Rayo (first published January 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 21, 2016 Manybooks rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone looking for great dual-language alphabet books
A wonderful collection of simple and evocative poems, one for every letter of the Spanish alphabet, this dual-language, lushly and brilliantly illustrated picture book not only captures the sun, the meadows, the fields of Mexico and the Southern United States, it is also an homage to migrant farm workers, to people like César Chavez (to whom this book is dedicated), those individuals who work hard (who must work hard) in the fields so that we can buy and enjoy fresh produce.

The poetical text sel
Lisa Vegan
Jul 28, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spanish readers learning ESL and vice versa; fans of lovely poetry & illustrations & farm workers
Recommended to Lisa by: Manybooks
This book is absolutely stunning!

As soon as I read the description I thought of César Chávez and lo and behold, he’s C, and also the book is (fittingly) dedicated to him. As it’s about the contributions of farm workers, this felt perfect to me. Also wonderful is that the illustrator grew up in a family who were migrant farm workers and he worked the fields as a young child. How special that he could turn such hardship into such vibrant and beautiful paintings. They’re really amazing. They’re bol
May 07, 2011 Dee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful illustrations. An alphabet book like I have never seen before.
Wind and sky, rain and sun,
cloud and shade, field and flower.
Thank you, Earth,
for all of your delicious fruits.

Lovely poems for every letter of the alphabet and illustrated in vibrant colors that are as colorful as Mexico itself.

Feb 01, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: latino-latina
An alphabet book with poems in Spanish and English, Gathering the Sun, by Alma Flor Ada, focuses on the lives of migrant workers and offers short but meaningful and inspiring poems for every letter of the alphabet. The word for the letter O is Oregullo, Pride. The poem that follows describes how every child in our schools should feel, regardless of their heritage:

Proud of my family
Proud of my language
Proud of my culture
Proud of my people
Proud of being who I am.

Simón Silva’s illustrations ar
Apr 24, 2016 Brooklynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Gathering the Sun is an amazing, multicultural poetry book that uses the Spanish Alphabet and poems in English and Spanish to display culture. Throughout this book, the poems take the reader through fields and celebrations to display the Hispanic culture through short poetic lines. This book exposes students to many forms of poetry and brings diverse culture into the classroom. All students can connect to at least one of the poems in the book regardless of their culture and realize how similar, ...more
Margaret Coleman
Apr 24, 2016 Margaret Coleman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow
WOW! Gathering the Sun was such a fun and entertaining book to read. The authors took the reader into fields, orchards and through the lives of people who work in these settings. There is a poem for each letter of the alphabet. But the twist is the poems are written in both English and Spanish. The poems describe many different things, like the fruits and vegetables found in the farms. The poems and illustrations allow the reader to take a journey through these farms and the people who work in t ...more
Sep 11, 2013 LauraW rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers of young children
Recommended to LauraW by: Manybooks
I have been thinking lately that we do not honor the people who work hard doing manual labor. Things like repainting our house, replacing the roof (damaged by hail), landscaping and green area maintenance, even child care. In fact, it seems that we reserve our honor more for people who make a lot of money, rather than people who do good, honest work, day in and day out, not just manual labor, but work that simply isn't paid well. This book may not remedy that, but it does honor, and beautifully, ...more
Cindy Benabderrahman
Apr 20, 2009 Cindy Benabderrahman rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Here is a collection of poems—one for every letter of the Spanish alphabet—that represent the heart and soul of the sun-drenched central Mexican countryside. We explore, both through poems represented in Spanish and English, and in the illustrations in the style of Diego Rivera, the orchards, fields, meadows, homes, and families of the farm workers, as well as César Chávez. The poetry is clean and colorful, the paintings are warm and full of wonder, from A “(Árboles) Z (Zanahoria).

Feb 01, 2009 Lynne rated it really liked it
Author, Alma Flor Ada created a dynamic Spanish alphabet book that traces the lives of migrant farm workers. Each page features a letter and a descriptive poem alongside an English translation by Rosa Zubizarreta. Included are the Spanish letters Ch and Ll which the author notes that while these two letters are no longer separate letters in the Spanish alphabet, they are preserved in this text in respect for tradition and the love of the language. Illustrator, Simon Silva, draws upon his own rec ...more
Kathleen Heroux
Feb 09, 2010 Kathleen Heroux rated it really liked it
Shelves: latino-latina
This translated alphabet book of poetry presents an authentic picture of hard working, loving families. Two themes appear throughout and are enforced by the illustrations; field workers and family. These are supplimented with both historical and geographical information for a child to experience. The illustrations for Gathering the Sun almost exude the heat that might be experienced from the sun on a hot summer day. The poetry and illustrations bring to mind another book, Esperanza Rising, a sto ...more
Aug 16, 2013 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Never before have I wanted so desperately to be able to read Spanish as when I read this book. Beautiful.

A wondering, though. Nearly all the Latino/Latina children's books I've encountered follow migrant families. None of the Mexican families in my school are migrant workers, although I'd be willing to assume some of their family/friends are. I'm just concerned that we're just creating a new stereotype to replace any old stereotypes? Or does the value of having more Mexican representation in lit
Eileen Goedert
Jun 16, 2014 Eileen Goedert rated it liked it
Gathering the Sun successfully describes the lives of field workers with English and Spanish versions of poems. The content is mature for my preschoolers, but the languages side by side are quite effective for introducing the concept of how we are all the same and how we can respect the differences. Many alphabet books are available for early learners. This one presents painting and poem art work that provides a contrasting family view. Rather than focus on the plight of the families, I would us ...more
Karen Witzler
May 30, 2015 Karen Witzler rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
The first thing that hits you is the orange of Simon Silva's sun-drenched illustrations in this lovely Spanish/English ABC picture book built around the theme of Hispanic Farm workers. A poem about a particular crop follows each letter of the Spanish language alphabet and is then translated into English. Very nice and includes some challenging Spanish for young native speakers reading the book.
Feb 23, 2014 Ekassel rated it really liked it
Shelves: 642-shelf
Genre: Alphabet Book
Age: Elementary
Summary: This book goes through the Spanish alphabet giving a word or phrase for each letter, and then a short stanza about the topic. Most of the words and phrases are related to life on a farm.
Curriculum Connection:This book would be perfect for teaching the Spanish alphabet. Each page is given in English and Spanish, so the children would understand, even if they don't speak Spanish.
Personal Reaction:I liked the book, especially the pictures. This book used
Heather Summers
Apr 07, 2011 Heather Summers rated it liked it
Every teacher should have an alphabet bookshelf! In this alphabet book, each letter is matched with a Spanish word (for example, "Arboles" for "A") and accompanied by a poem in both Spanish and English that describes how the plant, fruit, vegetable, person, or feeling had a place on the farm. This book represents the Spanish culture and i also love the poetry.
May 05, 2015 Sam rated it liked it
Things I really liked about this book:
-the illustrations are amazing! I love the beautiful golden cast from the setting sun that pulls all the pictures together.
-the way the alphabet is presented. All of the words for each letter are the Spanish words, with English translations (as opposed to the other way around). For example: D is for duranznos, rather than P is for peaches.
Things I didn't like:
-I don't like it when bilingual books are just side by side comparisons of the language. I'd much ra
Dec 31, 2015 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This book was featured as one of the selections for the May 2015 Farmers and Farming-themed reads for the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Jessica B
Apr 28, 2015 Jessica B rated it really liked it
Gathering the Sun caught my eye with its beautiful book cover. I also thought it would be a great read aloud for my class considering we have many children who only speak Spanish. There are beautiful illustrations in the story, many with blue and orange tones. This is an alphabet book where each page is written in Spanish and English. Under each word, there is a small poem describing it. The ABC’s in this book are geared around the Spanish culture. For example, C is for Cesar Chavez. His poem de ...more
Mar 06, 2011 Victoria rated it it was amazing
This book is very colorful and interesting! The book contains words and short explanations about working in the fields. It is fun and engaging to read to students because they learn the alphabet.
Mar 25, 2008 Chericem rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alphabet, spanish
Deeply grounded in the cultural products, practices, and perspectives of Mexico. Beautiful illustrations, short poems on each page make it an excellent option for reviewing vocabulary.
Lovely poems for each letter of the Spanish alphabet...translated, side by side from Spanish to English. Gorgeous illustrations really add to the beauty and depth of this book.

Favorite poems:

Cesar Chavez

Your steps no longer cross the dusty fields
where your strong voice once shone
yet your example
and your words
sprout anew in the field rows
as seedlings of quiet hope.


Honor is the work
we do in the fields.
Honor is a family
who loves and cares for one another.
Honor is being true to myself
as I wa
Caroline Barnett
Gathering the Sun is a great book to have because it is an alphabet book in spanish and english. It is great for ELL's.
Lauren Thorp
Mar 24, 2016 Lauren Thorp rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English. The illustrations are beautiful, colorful and engaging. The book focuses on the topic of farming and family. I love that the book is written in Spanish and English and I think children will enjoy the opportunity to learn new words in Spanish or English. I think this book is most appropriate for children in 1st or 2nd grade. It is written in the form of a poem and uses rich and repetitive language. I could use this bo ...more
Aug 24, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing
For children who know Spanish, and for those who are learning, this is a lovely book, dedicated to César Chávez, an alphabet from A to Z about farm workers, the pride in their work, the different work they do, and the family members who do it. Each letter gives us a beautiful image from the fields and from family life. For example, F asks if the flowers are “drowsy stars/that lie sleeping in the fields?” And the S page imagines a seed “all tucked in/like a baby in the crib.” The full double-pag ...more
Nevada State
Mar 09, 2010 Nevada State added it
Shelves: childrens
The art work and bilingualism makes this book visually pleasing and mutually educational.
Nicole Disilvestro
Nov 15, 2012 Nicole Disilvestro rated it really liked it
1. This book is an alphabet book.
2. This book is about the Spanish and English alphabet and it has poems for each of the different letters and relates it to nature and different fruits and vegetables.
3. (a) I think this is a very accurate alphabet book. It helps the reader connect the different letters of the alphabet with different objects.
(b) I think this is a very appropriate alphabet book. It has beautiful illustrations that help connect the reader with the alphabet. I also think it is ve
Mary Harris
Oct 14, 2012 Mary Harris rated it really liked it
Citation: Gathering the sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English, by Alma Flor Ada. (Harper Collins, 1997). 38 p. Alphabet.

Genre: Picture Book - Alphabet

Summary: A wonderful alphabet book that uses Spanish definitions with English translations. It also familiarizes students with what it is like to grow up on a farm. It is a great book for Spanish speaking students as well as English speaking students.

A. There were two outstanding aspects of this book. First the Spanish and English translations fo
-beautiful poetry
-written in Spanish and English
-about farmworkers and agricultural life
-celebrates migrant families and the hard work they do
"Proud of my family
proud of my language
proud of my culture
proud of my people
proud of being who I am."---Alma Flor Ada
Good for all grades, because even though it is an alphabet book, poetry can be hard to understand
Ms Threlkeld
This is an alphabet book full of lovely illustrations. It centers around the work done by the narrator's family and the pride and love she has for her family. The info/poem on each page is written in both Spanish and English, providing a wonderful opportunity to compare the two languages and learn some new vocabulary.
Ellen Shackley
Nov 26, 2012 Ellen Shackley rated it really liked it
Genre: Alphabet Book

Summary: Every letter of the alphabet is presented in both Spanish and English. The focus of the alphabet seems to be a day in the life of a Mexican-American family.

A. Area of Focus: Style

B. The author has created a short poem for the word highlighted by each letter which help the reader to feel closer to the topics the author is talking about.

C. For example, on page 5, Duraznos or peaches are described as, "Juicy, golden peaches, honey-sweet, like a gentle caress in the palm
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Dr. Ada was the founder and First Editor in Chief of :
NABE, Journal of the National Association for Bilingual Education

She has been active for many years in various professional associations including : IRA, International Reading Association
CRA, California Reading Association
CABE, California Association for Bilingual Education
USIBBY, US Branch of the International
More about Alma Flor Ada...

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