Pump Up Your Book Tour – Little Giants By Raynelda Calderon

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by reading a short collection of biographies about Hispanic women and the impact they made in the world!

By Raynelda Calderon

LITTLE GIANTS: 10 HISPANIC WOMEN WHO MADE HISTORY, Juvenile Biography, Cavena Press, Inc., 64 pp.

 

Little Giants: 10 Hispanic Women Who Made History is a short collection of biographies about Hispanic women and the impact they made in the world. Some of the women featured in this book are iconic figures such as ballet dancer Alicia Alonso; others are less known heroines such as indigenous leader Dolores Cacuango, founder of the first bilingual school in Ecuador. Beautiful illustrations accompany the text to bring these women to life and inspire the young generation of readers to be leaders tomorrow.

This book is a great resource to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by reading about the history and accomplishments of these courageous women and their contributions in Latin America.

PRAISE

“This is what every Hispanic household needs. Finally a powerful book that we can share with our next generation ( and even adults).” – Amazon reviewer

 

 


Alicia Alonso

International Ballet Legend

Can you imagine being a dancer and going almost blind all of a sudden? How would you dance if you could barely see? This is what happened to Alicia Alonso, one of the greatest ballet dancers in history.

Born in Havana, Cuba on December 21, 1922, Alicia began to dance when she was only nine years old, and she made her first presentation in the ballet Sleeping Beauty. At 16, she moved to New York, where she started to be well-known and praised

as a rising ballet star.

Just when her career was starting to take off, Alicia began having sight problems when the retinas of her eyes detached. She underwent surgery to correct the problem and was ordered to spend three months in bed. Can you imagine being in bed for three months without being able to move?

When the blindfolds were removed, Alicia was disappointed that the operation had not worked and she still could not see. Determined not to give up, she underwent a second surgery, again without success. After these two failed surgeries, the doctors gave up and told her that she would never be able to completely see again. Alicia felt very sad. How was she going to be able to dance?

Instead of accepting the medical diagnosis, Alicia went to Cuba to undergo a third surgery; this time, she was ordered to rest for an entire year! During that time, she was not supposed to move her head, laugh, cry, or eat anything hard. She had to lie completely still, like a corpse!

When at last Alicia was able to move again, she returned to New York. Although she had not yet fully recovered, she accepted the lead role in a famous production called Giselle. Her performance was a success! Although she would eventually regain her sight, she could mostly see shadow.

Alicia became one of the best dancers in history. She danced in the most famous ballets of the world and won many awards, such as the coveted Dance Magazine Award. She became a prima ballerina assoluta, a rare honor given only to the very best ballerinas. 

5 Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

This Year

By Raynelda A. Calderon

Can you imagine the holidays without singing José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad”? Hispanic Heritage Month is all about remembering and honoring the contributions of Hispanics in the United States.

Each year, an entire month is set aside to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of US citizens from Spanish-speaking countries. Because several Latin American independence days are celebrated from September 15 to October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is observed between these dates.

Here are some fun yet meaningful ideas for honoring the many ways in which

Hispanics have enriched Americans’ lives.

  1. Honor Hispanic people.

It would be impossible to list all the contributions of Hispanics to this country! But you can plan ahead and choose a few outstanding people to remember each year.

Not sure where to start? Get your copy of the first Hispanic Heritage Wall Calendar published by Cayena Press, Inc. The calendar highlights the accomplishments of outstanding Hispanic-Americans in art, education, sports, film, music, and many other fields.

  1. Support Hispanic literature.

Immerse yourself and your family in personal accounts of the lives and times of some important Hispanic figures in history. Read the remarkable life of Nobel Prize winner RigobertaMenchú in I, RigobertaMenchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala, or learn about the forces that turned Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Márquez into a writer in his autobiography, Living to Tell the Tale.

Even better, support independent Hispanic authors! Some great books to share with children are Little Giants: 10 Hispanic Women Who Made History by Raynelda A. Calderon, The Music From Our Country by Dabrali Díaz, and Viviana Torres’ Anacaona: The Golden Flower Queen.

  1. Discover Hispanic-American history.

Since before its founding, the United States has been deeply influenced by Spanish-speaking people. Go back 500 years to 1513, when Ponce de León came ashore on the Florida coast while looking for the “Fountain of Youth.” Can you guess why he named it “La Florida”?  And don’t forget Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who, in 1542, first sighted the region that today is California.

You can even visit some of the Hispanic heritage sites in the US to explore their history face to face. Do a search on the National Register of Historic Places for sites to visit, such as the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico; St. John the Divine Catholic Church in Kansas City, Kansas; and Chicano Park in San Diego, California.

  1. Attend a virtual event.

Not able to visit a historical site in person? Attend a virtual event! Yes, online events are here to stay. Check out the list of free exhibits provided by the National Archives.

It could be a bit early for libraries and other organizations to publicize their online events for Hispanic Heritage Month, but make a note on your calendar to check the institutions below that hosted online events last year to see what they have to offer in 2021:

  1. Visit Hispanic restaurants.

COVID-19 took a toll on small businesses, and minority-owned businesses in particular. Use Hispanic Heritage Month to discover new cuisines by visiting a Hispanic restaurant. GiveDominicanmofongo, Peruvian lomo saltado and Ecuadorianceviche a try! You will not regret it.

Rather try cooking some Latin dishes yourself? Take one of these free classes to get started.

Don’t forget to pamper your sweet tooth. On your way back home from the restaurant, stop by your neighborhood bakery to pick up some tres leches, flan, or pan dulce and indulge.

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3ykYtbU

Cayena Press → http://cayenapress.org/shop/

Raynelda Calderon grew up in the Dominican Republic, on a healthy diet of romance novels, comic strips, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s books, and the strict watch of her mother. She has a doctorate in leadership in higher education and works as a public librarian.

As a librarian, working with children inspires her to write about the accomplishments of Hispanics in history. She hopes to inspire young readers to follow their passions.

Raynelda lives in New York with an untamed Shih Tzu, Toby, and a much attached Chihuahua, Maya. She spends her free time thinking (and drafting) about books to write, or painting, crocheting, or crying over abused dogs.

You can visit her website at rayneldacalderon.com. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

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