A young boy’s visit to the clinic with his grandmother leads to a career aspiration
HOUSTON, TX— In Juan Guerra’s engaging bilingual picture book, The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, a young Salvadoran boy dreams of becoming a doctor who speaks both English and Spanish so that patients like his beloved grandmother aren’t afraid to visit the doctor.
Salvador raced home from school to share exciting news with his abuela: he made an A+ on his science test! But at home, he learns that his grandmother needs his help. She is going to the doctor and wants her grandson to interpret for her. Abuela is nervous because she has never been to a doctor in the United States. In El Salvador, she either saw a curandera or drank té de manzanilla when she felt sick.
When he learns that none of the physicians speak Spanish, the boy realizes that he is completely responsible for making sure the doctor understands his grandmother—and that she understands his instructions! But in spite of his help, the visit does not go well. The doctor rushes in and out. He doesn’t listen to Abuela. And he tells Salvador that she should not eat so much Mexican food! Abuela is so upset that she threatens not to take the medication the doctor prescribes! What can Salvador do to help her?
Paired with lively, colorful illustrations by Victoria Castillo, this book for ages 4-8 will encourage kids to think about their own futures as well as the role their culture can play in helping the community.
JUAN J. GUERRA, a doctor specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, is a graduate of Pomona College and the University of Illinois School of Medicine. He was four years old when his family emigrated from El Salvador to Los Angeles, California. He lives and works in northern California. This is his first picture book.
VICTORIA CASTILLO, an illustrator and comic artist, has a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of North Texas. Her Colombian mother and Mexican father ensured that she was exposed to different cultures from an early age. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her family and numerous dogs. This is her first picture book.
ARTE PÚBLICO PRESS is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Books published under the imprint are designed to serve as a bridge from the home culture to that of the school, as well as to support family literacy and elementary school education. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity. For more information, please visit www.artepublicopress.com.