Ana loves stories. She often makes them up to help her little brother fall asleep. But in her small village there are only a few books and she has read them all. One morning, Ana wakes up to the clip-clop of hooves, and there before her, is the most wonderful sight: a traveling library resting on the backs of two burros‑all the books a little girl could dream of, with enough stories to encourage her to create one of her own.
Inspired by the heroic efforts of real-life librarian Luis Soriano, award-winning picture book creators Monica Brown and John Parra introduce readers to the mobile library that journeys over mountains and through valleys to bring literacy and culture to rural Colombia, and to the children who wait for the BiblioBurro.
A portion of the proceeds from sales of this book was donated to Luis Soriano's BiblioBurro program.
Brown (Side by Side/Lado a lado) and Parra (Gracias/Thanks) gently portray a lifestyle 180 degrees from modern, technology-centric schooling. In rural Colombia, "Ana bathes her little brother and feeds the goats and collects the eggs to sell at the market," all the time longing to be back in her house reading her one and only book. The arrival of a librarian riding a burro brings more books and inspires Ana to write a book of her own. The traveling librarian and his donkeys, Alfa and Beto, are based on a real Colombian biblioburro, also the subject of Jeanette Winter's Biblioburro (2010). Parra's na ve-styled acrylics brim with scenes of country life. A palette of salmon pinks and turquoise and sky blues, painted on board, give the book a rough-hewn, handmade quality and an innocent, childlike appeal (with her wide face, delicate features, and rouged cheeks, Ana even resembles a porcelain doll). In a metafictional ending, readers will notice that the book Ana hands the bibliotecario upon his return is this very book fitting, as this truly is Ana's story. Ages 4 6.