“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Monday, June 7, 2010

Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia • Picture book

BIBLIOBURRO:  A True Story from Colombia
written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter
Just out! June 2010 Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster) Ages 4 - 9
"A vibrant reminder of the pleasures of books and the difference one individual can make." -- Booklist, starred review
 Story: “Deep in the jungles of Colombia, there lives a man who loves books.  His name is Luis. As soon as he reads one book, he brings home another. Soon his house is filled with books…”
Join Luis and his trusty burros, Alfa and Beta, as they travel far and wide to bring treasured books to eager children in the remote villages of rural Colombia.  Based on the inspiring life of a real man and his devoted burro team, here is a book to remind us of the immense power stories have to connect us all.
Story behind the story:  Author Jeanette Winter based BIBLIOBURRO on the true story of schoolteacher Luis Soriana and shares information about him and his desire to share his love of reading and the transformative power of story with children who had none.  “Luis and his two burros began bringing books to the [isolated] villages [in the distant hills] in 2000.  He started with a collection of 70 books that has grown to over 2,800.  Now the Biblioburro travels to the hills every weekend.  Three hundred people, more or less, look forward to borrowing the books Luis brings.”

Want to see the Biblioburro in action?  Watch this video

Author-illustrator JEANETTE WINTER lives in New York City, where she has written and illustrated many books for children based on true-life stories, including the highly acclaimed NASREEN’S SECRET SCHOOL, MAMA, WANGARI’S TREES OF PEACE and THE LIBRARIAN OF BASRA (an ALA Notable Children’s Book and a winner of the Bank Street College of Education Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for Nonfiction.


"Winter once again tells an inspiring story about an untraditional library....captivating paintings evoke a South American feel in their brilliant palette and dense, green tropical scenes teeming with creatures, including large, orange-winged butterflies on every page. And Winter offers fresh, visual surprises.....Both understated and full of life, this satisfying story is a vibrant reminder of the pleasures of books and the difference one individual can make." -- Booklist, starred review

"Winter’s account of his story targets young children and joins several other recent books about traveling libraries around the world. The author’s cheery acrylics present the flora and fauna of the tropical forest in bright colors and naïve style...Sweet and uplifting."
-- Kirkus Reviews 

FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent; please check back on the "comments" link to read what your colleagues have to say.


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Kim Watson said...

I was excited to receive this book in the mail today. It will be a nice, quick read to my fourth graders when we talk about different forms of literature. The pictures are simple, yet beautiful. The text teaches sharing and caring for others, which is something that needs to be taught to children today. It also teaches diversity. I love how the animal characters move from page to page during the journey, and how Luis shares "The Three Little Pigs" with the children. This book is a great teaching tool because it shows students the importance of literacy and how fortunate they are to own books.

Anonymous said...

Biblioburro by Jeannette Winter is a delightful story about a man who shares his books with children. The book reflects the culture and art of Columbia. This book will be a perfect addition to any social studies lesson about South America, but will also add much to any classroom because of the theme of sharing, the pleasure derived from reading, and the joy that comes from sharing books with others.

Lisa said...

I would rate this book a five. This newest book by Jeannette Winter who has written other fictional picture books based on real-life stories of individuals that have contributed positively to our society is not a disappointment, by any means. The story is simple enough for young children to begin to understand how the main character, Luis, has contributed to society by providing a traveling library to those who don't have access to books. The book can spark many discussions about giving to others. It also promotes the love of books. The illustrations in the book are wonderful, as well. They are vibrant and hint at the life in the jungles where Luis resides and travels with his "bibliburro." The pictures can spark discussions themselves, such as the picture of the bandit who has stolen a book from Luis and can be seen a few pages later reading the book under a tree. I would highly recommend this book with its message of sharing, caring, and love of literacy.

Laura _SPED Teacher said...

I LOVED the message in Biblioburro. What a great way to teach student the value of books. The very colorful illustrations added to the books appeal! I rate the book a 5.

SunshineFamily said...

THe children I read this book to were delighted to learn it was a true story. The artwork is beautiful and the text flows nicely and I think appeals to a range of ages. 5/5 !!!

As a side note some of the children I read this to started talking about the idea of bringing books to people who didn't have any. THis might be a good introduction for a book drive or having a mobile library at their school.

Anonymous said...

I was excited when I received my copy of this book. It is a wonderful story that is illustrated with vibrant colors, each illustration includes many objects for those students who are visually oriented. The storyline is great as it includes diversity and sharing. I love it!

LifeLongLearner said...

This book was waiting in our mailbox when we returned from a trip to Paraguay, South America. What an enriching true story that inspires us to be grateful and reach out to others who may not be given the gift of books. I plan to read it with our elementary students this fall when we do a book drive for a community children's library program in Asuncian, Paraguay. The message of generosity and love for literacy is powerful. This book is a gentle reminder to appreciate our easy access to books here in America and work toward getting books into the hands of children all over our globe.

I give this book a 5+ rating.

Margo Jantzi
Cub Run Elementary Librarian---Virginia

Mary Kirk said...

Jeannette Winters tells Biblioburro simply and illustrates it vibrantly. Much like The Librarian of Basra, an earlier book by Winters, Biblioburro is the true story of a book lover who selflessly improves his corner of the world. Teacher Luis Soriana has been bringing books via burro to about three hundred people in remote villages of Columbia since 2000. Along with his two burros, Alfa and Beto, Soriana travels from his village La GLoria each week to bring books to people in nearby villages. As the value of books declines in the US, it is touching to see how other parts of the world thirst for books and the stories they contain. Two books that students might compare and contrast with Biblioburro are That Book Woman by Heather Henson and Down Cut Shin Creek by Kathi Appelt. Both of these books are about the WPA Pack Horse Library Project. That Book Woman is a fictional account, while Down Cut Shin Creek is nonfiction and contains many photographs. CNN Heroes featured Luis Soriana in February 2010. A brief video clip is easy to find by searching Luis Soriana on Google. Students will be able to see the real-life Soriana and his burros, Alfa and Beto.
I rate Biblioburro by Jeannette Winters a 5.

Anonymous said...

Biblioburro by Jeannette Winter is a wonderful book for many ages. Love the illustrations and the story. It is great then to lead to geography lessons and then real life heros and news stories. Great book that I give a five.

Anonymous said...

I was very pleased to receive this book and I think it will be a great book to share with school children who come for library visits. It was a great story about a man who wanted to share his love of books with people who wouldn't otherwise have had the opportunity. Beautiful illustrations accompany the story.

Heather Hart, Children's Librarian

sbcmom said...

This is a delightful book. At a time when technology seems to have taken over many aspects of life, this is a wonderful story of the power of books. I'll be using this book with my middle school students to reinforce how books can influence lives. The illustrations are vibrant and truly suit the story. I give it four starts out of five.

linda said...

Wow! This is certainly a "5". The message of the book is expertly woven through the book, and knowing that it is a real story makes it even more exciting. I agree, this book is an excellent resource for our students who often take the ability to get a book from the library lightly. I am a faculty coordinator for Earlyact which is part of the Rotary Club, but for children. I am planning to see if there is someway we can help get books for the third world countries and use this to open the discussion.

Heather Hill said...

Biblioburro is a wonderful true story still taking place today, not something that happened in the past. It is a wonderful story to share with elementary students if you are having a book drive for a less fortunate place or just trying to get the students to visit their own local library. The illustrations also do a superb job of telling the story, which makes it a great book for even the youngest of students. This is a book I will return to many times to share with my students. Biblioburro is a 5+ out of 5.

Heather Hill, Reading Specialist
Enterprise Elementary
Woodbridge, VA

Monica said...

What a delightful story based on the true life of Luis, his burros, and his passion for sharing books to those less fortunate. I enjoyed the cross-cultural connections, vivid illustrations, and its appeal to children and adults alike. I can't wait to share this with my class when we return in the fall. A definite 5!

Anonymous said...

I was very excited to receive this book. I LOVE the illustrations. The story sends such a wonderful message to children. I cannot wait to share it with my 1st grade class this year!

Pamela Kramer said...

I greatly enjoyed reading Biblioburro. The story is one that is a theme in many children's picture books, but this one is well written and I loved the illustrations.

The illustrations are done in a way that almost looks as if they are the collage of fabrics that make up some of the native art in South America.

The messages: people love reading all over the world and sharing books is wonderful.

A great lesson for us all. 5/5 on the Picnic Basket scals.

Mrs. Horne said...

I LOVED this book - plain and simple. It had the cutest storyline, and it made me feel like I was reading a special story to my son...the premise behind it, what the character is doing is such a wonderful thing to teach children - and then to find out it is based on a real person was even better.

I would like to know more about this person, and I found it helpful that more information was provided. I loved the bright colors, and the art was beautiful - DEFINITE 5!

Julia Pitau said...

An excellent story with a simple message about helping others out in anyway one can. The pictures and colors chosen where brillantly constructed! Kudos to Jeanette Winter for this wonderful book. I have two hopes: The first is that everyone who reads this book takes the time to read the last page about Luis Soriana and the second is that no one is offended by the gun pictured when Luis was held up by a bandit.

Picnic Rating: A solid 5

Denair Charter Academy
Denair, CA

Lemon the Duck said...

What a feel-good story that children can relate to. I especially like how, hidden in one of the pages, we see how Luis has enriched more than just the lives of the children.
The pictures are simple and colorful and bring the beauty of the land and culture to life.
Recycling, Sharing, Appreciation, Love of reading, Based on a true story---this book has it all! I highly recommend it and rate this book a 5 out of 5.
Laura Backman
Hathaway School

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