Ernesto Galarza and Mexican Children’s Literature in the United States
This article examines the pioneering work of Ernesto Galarza on Mexican children’s literature in Spanish in the United States. Between 1971 and 1973, he wrote twelve books almost equally divided between poetry and nonfiction for elementary school children. The author found that Galarza considered teaching Spanish-speaking children to read in their own language to be the cornerstone for improving their academic achievement and for facilitating the transition into English language instruction. Mexican culture took center stage in his poetry books, while, without being didactic, social and economic inequality was suggested in his nonfiction works. A recurrent theme throughout his work is nature and the responsibility that humans should assume when interacting with it.