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A Library for Juana.
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Covers from the original editions, published in English and Spanish by Knopf Books for Young Readers.
Also available in Chinese, published by Commonwealth Magazine Co. Ltd.
“I am quiet like a turtle.”
So promised Juana Inés, a little girl who loved words, on her first day of school. When she was three years old, Juana Inés followed her sister to school and peeked in the window, then begged the teacher to be allowed to stay so she could learn how to read. Soon she was making up stories, songs, and poems—she loved learning and she loved reading. And she couldn’t wait to have her own collection of books! Eventually, Juana went on to become Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a nun, and she devoted her life to writing and learning and words. Though she died in 1695, Sor Juana Inés is still considered one of the most brilliant writers in Mexico’s history: her poetry is recited by schoolchildren throughout Mexico and is studied at schools and universities around the world. Here is the story of her life, an incredible one full of knowledge, achievement, and inspiration, lovingly told by the renowned children’s book author Pat Mora and gorgeously illustrated by Beatriz Vidal.
“Mora’s beautifully crafted text does credit to its subject, following her [Sor Juana] from birth to death … The text is perfectly complemented by Vidal’s brilliant, detailed illustrations that have the look and exactitude of Renaissance miniatures. This is an exceptional introduction to an exceptional woman, and would enhance any collection.”—School Library Journal
“Mora (Tomás and the Library Lady) concisely traces the rise of spirited Juana Inés from inquisitive youngster to 17th century Mexican scholar … this story of persistence and pioneering will inspire youngsters...the heroine’s journey, coupled with Vidal’s depiction of expressive faces and lovely renderings of flowers that spill from the borders of the pictures make for a memorable volume.”—Publishers Weekly
“This picture-book biography of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz brings the 17th-century poet and intellectual, revered throughout Latin America, to the attention of English-speaking children … This magnificent offering, interspersed with Spanish phrases, and filled with authentic details in its illustrations will be a welcome addition to most library collections.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The best of children’s literature doesn’t limit itself to young readers. A good children’s book appeals to the child in all of us … Mora’s biography reveals this passionate woman’s determination to break boundaries, enriched by the exquisite watercolor and gouache illustrations of Argentina-born artist Beatriz Vidal, who employs a technique similar to that used in manuscripts centuries ago.”—Pasatiempo, The Santa Fe New Mexican
“This gorgeously illustrated book is the story of a 17th century Mexican writer still revered today throughout that country … The story is lovingly told.”—The Cincinnati Enquirer