Jorge Luján, illustrated by Mandana Sadat, translated by Elisa Amado
Tarde de invierno / Winter Afternoon
Groundwood Books / Libros Tigrillo, 2006
The words are spare and simple - a short poem which tells of a little girl drawing a picture of the moon on the window while she watches and waits for her mother to come home, as she knows she will, and scoop her up in a warm, loving hug. Timeless, imaginative art-work accompanies each phrase of the poem, bringing her mother closer and closer. All ten fingers have exuberantly swirled lines in the condensation to enlarge the space for her mother 'que voy agrandando a medida que se va acercando / bigger as she comes closer'. The winter's chill disappears and time, drawn-out by the vigil at the window, stands still as they hold each other close, framed perfectly by the 'vidrio del portarretrato / frosty frame'. The bilingual text is coded throughout - Jorge Luján's original Spanish in black and the English translation underneath, smaller and in red: the poem can therefore be read monolingually or with the Spanish /English echoing one another, which adds to the impression of universality inherent in this one mother/ child relationship. This is a perfect bedtime book for little ones on a chilly night - and it will be impossible to read it without snuggling up close.