Book: A Girl Named Rosita (2020)
Author: Anika Aldamuy Denise
Illustrator: Leo Espinosa
Genre: Picture Book
Opening Lines of the Book…
Juncos, Puerto Rico, 1935
In a tiny cottage tucked between El Yunque Peak and a wild fragrant rainforest lives a girl: a girl with the rhythm of the rainforest in her feet and the sweetness of the sugarcane field in her swishing skirts.
This is the story of Rita Moreno. She and her mother move from their home in Puerto Rico where she misses her little brother, Francisco. She eventually learns English and takes dance lessons from the teacher of the amazing Rita Hayworth! She wants to be just like the Hollywood stars. Rita ends up in Hollywood and is cast in the musical West Side Story! She will be playing Anita. And when the Academy Awards happen, all of the New York Puerto Ricans hold their breath.
I loved all the lyrical dance language. The swishes and twirls all evoke such wonderful movement. As a huge fan of West Side Story, I loved this little peek into the real life of “Anita.” I always loved her performance in that movie. So it was wonderful to see the story that led up to that amazing performance. After reading this, I just had to watch some clips of the movie.
(My big question… Whatever happened to brother Francisco?)
Thank you @marianallanos for recommending this book to me!
12 months to read 12 books recommended by 12 friends…
This picture book review is part of a monthly challenge I’ve set for myself. I’ve asked my friends on Twitter to recommend picture books they’ve enjoyed reading (published within the past 3 years). I will choose to feature one each month.
Note: The original 12 Challenge isn’t necessarily just for picture books. But I’ve set it up this way for my own challenge.