A man, his burros, and his books bring joy to children in remote Colombian villages in this inspiring book based on a true story by celebrated picture book creator Jeanette Winter.
Luis loves to read, but soon his house in Colombia is so full of books there’s barely room for the family. What to do? Then he comes up with the perfect solution—a traveling library! He buys two donkeys—Alfa and Beto—and travels with them throughout the land, bringing books and reading to the children in faraway villages.
Complete with an author’s note about the real man on whom this story is based.
Winter (Nasreen's Secret School) again roots a heartening and informative story in real life. Festive acrylic paintings transport readers to the lush Colombian jungle, where the wife of an avid reader grumbles that his extensive book collection is cluttering their house ("What are we going to do, eat books with our rice?"). To solve the problem, Luis builds crates and packs them with books that he delivers via burro to adults and children in remote parts of the country. During a trip to El Tormento, one of the burros refuses to leave a stream where they've paused ("The children are waiting for us!" Luis coaxes), and a bandit who leaps out from the shadows grudgingly accepts a book instead of silver. Upon his arrival, Luis distributes piglet masks for children to wear as he reads them a tale about three renowned little pigs. Tropical colors ignite Winter's art, which has a pleasant folk art feel and an almost feltlike texture (the pages are rich with songbirds and smiley-faced butterflies). Winter concludes with a brief profile of the actual Luis. Ages 6 9.