We need more of these multi-cultural/bilingual picture books! Not only do they help non-English-speaking children adapt to American life, the stories provide a rich learning experience for those who've never visited an Indian reservation or crossed a national border.
This tale is a modern legend about Mexican-American twins, Connie and Diego, born to farmworkers in "the Land of Plenty." The twins are ridiculed because they are "different from the other children" with a patchwork of colors covering their bodies. When they run away to the forest, a tiger helps them understand that color isn't as important as character, and if they feel good about themselves, others will accept them, too.
Montoya's illustrations are bright with clean hues outlined in black, magical and bold as an Aztec tapestry. The text is simple and is printed in neat handwriting with translations in facing columns. The spongeable cover will see this through many readings.
DEADLINE! FROM NEWS TO NEWSPAPER by Gail Gibbons (Harper & Row: $11.95; 34 pp.: ages 6-9). Bright drawings and simple explanations show a day in the life of a small-city daily newspaper. A good assortment of minority, women and older professionals.