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Rosemary Wells
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children's 8-12

My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood

 
 
Author
Rosemary Wells, with Secundino Fernandez. Peter Ferguson, illus.
Publisher Candlewick  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.6 x 0.5 inches
ISBN 9780763643058
Pages/Publication Date 65/2010
Daedalus Item Code 50602
This item is not available.
Description
When she heard architect Secundino Fernandez vividly describing the Havana he left behind as a child, Rosemary Wells was inspired to find him and tell his story. Young Dino is in love with his city, noticing every detail of its buildings and drawing them in his notebooks. In 1954, when he is six, Dino's family moves to dark, treeless Madrid to help relatives in Franco's Spain, and the homesick boy learns to become a better artist. He is thrilled when his family returns to Havana, but in 1959 Castro comes to power, and Dino is forced to move again, to bleak, frigid New York. There, in his bedroom, he begins to build a miniature paper version of his Havana. Peter Ferguson's detailed, softly luminous paintings vividly depict Dino's different worlds in this book for readers 8 to 11.

"[Dino] laments the cold, drab winter and his difficulties with the language. He gets lost on the way home from school; his Puerto Rican classmates speak a different dialect; and his teacher is mean to him until his drawing skills win favor. By the end of the school year, Dino has made a friend, been promoted, and discovered Coney Island. 'New York sunlight, shimmering with the promise of summer, settles round my shoulders like the arms of my mother. It is almost like my Havana.' The story is a window into the early life of an artist; Fernandez sees his world differently, noticing colors, shapes, and textures—even temperatures—of the buildings around him. Readers are introduced to several infamous dictators and political figures including Castro, Che Guevara, Franco, Hitler, and Batista. Striking, full-color, full-page illustrations, along with black-and-white thumbnails and a few childhood photographs, capture the magical memories that inspired this tribute."—School Library Journal

 
 
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