Arrorró mi niño: Latino Lullabies
and Gentle Games / Book and CD
A 2006 Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration
“Arrorró, Mi Niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games,” a bilingual collection of traditional Latino games and lullabies, is a tribute to motherhood. Delacre’s soft and tender illustrations celebrate the Latino family in a wide variety of settings. The combination of delicate and glowing colors makes each illustration warm and full of appeal. –American Library Association
Arrorró mi niño CD
Cantaré artists Patricia Vergara of Brazil and Cecilia Esquivel of Argentina introduce audiences to the beautiful songs and rhythms of Latin America in an exciting interactive performance.
In the last 20 minutes of the CD award winning vocalist Cecilia Esquivel soothes babies with her angelic voice singing well loved lullabies that can put to sleep both children and adults alike.
An added feature is that the Spanish and English versions of the songs are followed by the melody only, so a loving adult can sing in his preferred language to his or her child.
For more about Cantaré go to Cantaremusic.com
About the Art
I spent two years sketching mothers and their babies. I visited Latino markets, Latino neighborhoods, parks, public libraries, and schools. I have pictures of Latinas working in the strawberry fields of Pennsylvania, of single mothers in the mall, and of Latinas at the park.
One winter day, I was driving home, camera by my side, when I saw a beautiful mother crossing the avenue. Her dark hair woven into a tight braid fell across her back, reaching past her flimsy sweater. She had a long black skirt sprinkled with red flowers and in her arms held a tiny baby swaddled in a pink blanket. She looked out of place, dressed in Guatemalan garb, standing on the snowy sidewalk.
I made a u-turn, parked, walked towards her, introduced myself, and asked for permission to take her picture. She embodied what I wanted to portray in this book, Latinas of all social classes, of different origins, of different shades, united in the love for our heritage and the love for our children.
The many photographs I took, along with the sketches I had made, helped me create the paintings of the book. First, I primed bristol board with gesso. Then, I gave texture to the background with broad brush strokes. Finally, I applied a base color before I started painting in oil washes thinned with turpentine. I wanted richness in texture and depth in color, mimicking with my technique what I imagined the lives of these women to be. I paid close attention to the facial expressions and body gestures of my characters in order to portray the strong bond that occurs between mother and child, regardless of time and place, as they are enveloped in a game or lullaby.
I crafted each picture as if it were a short glimpse in the private world of the mother and baby portrayed.