Our Roof Is Blue
by Sara E. Echenique
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Pub Date 11 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 11 Apr 2023
Before an intense hurricane hits their home in Puerto Rico, Antonio told his sister vibrant stories each night. During the storm, they huddled with their parents in a closet and hear the storm blow the roof right off their home. After the storm, their family uses a temporary blue tarp for a roof, and Antonio stops speaking. Gradually the siblings imagine their blue roof playfully—as the ocean above them or a parachute helping them fall from the sky. As the narrator helps her little brother feel safe once more--and after the family and community build a new roof--the little boy begins to speak again.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 14 members
This book is so meaningful and it provides just the right information on how hurricanes affect families where they are frequent.
I find the book so real, from the perspective of a kid what the family do together during such difficult times.
I also urge you to read the author’s note towards the end and educate yourself/young readers on hurricane, the climate change and what we can do to help.
Such an amazing book!
Thank you, Charlesbridge, for the advance reading copy.
This Puerto Rican family lives through a hurricane, but their house suffers a lot of damage and its horror takes away the voice of his brother. Besides showing us how the family recovers both physically and emotionally, the author teaches what we can do to help prevent disasters.
Powerful, moving and heart wrenching, this is a tale of loss, change and starting over.
Based on the true story of the residents of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Irma, Echenique crafted a story about a resilient family who lost everything in the storm and refused to let it stop them.
Young Antonio was born to be a story-teller, always telling wild tales to his sister. But after surviving the hurricane with his family, he stopped talking altogether. Antonio's family replaces the roof with a blue tarp, which the two siblings use as fuel for their imaginations. Pretending it is the ocean they are swimming in, or a parachute to safely carry them through the sky, the two find joy amidst the destruction of their island. It follows Antonio's sister as she helps him navigate his feelings and helps him to feel safe once again. Highlighting the island's recovery efforts, the determination of the people and their refusal to give up in the face of insurmountable challenges, this tale is a celebration of a beautiful island and it's triumph over the destructive forces of nature.
This story was entertaining and educational, which can be a tricky balance to maintain in a children’s book, and I will be suggesting it to teachers whenever possible. It is a valuable reminder for all of us that we can get through our challenges and that our mindset can help us overcome anything. Mental health is such a critical part of childhood that often gets overlooked. Incorporating social and emotional education into children's picture books is a tried and true way to teach an important life skill in a way that is fun. This would be an amazing addition for classroom libraries, counselling offices and more.
The setting for this book is in Puerto Rico. A dangerous hurricane named Irma is approaching the home of Antonio and is sister. Each night his sister asks her little brother to tell her a story to which he gladly complies. But after the horrific storm hits everything changes in their life. Irma arrives with a vengeance and the terrified family huddle together in their closet and hear the thunderous storm blow the roof right off of their house.
They have to temporarily use a blue tarp for a roof until they can get a new one re-built and little Antonio stops speaking from the trauma of the event.
Post the storm the siblings use their imaginations to project just what their new roof may look like. Could it be like the ocean above them? A parachute falling from the sky? Playfully working together allows Antonio to feel protected and safe once again and eventually, and thankfully, he regains his lost voice.
This book teaches kids that although huge challenges may come our way in life they can successfully be overcome. The book incorporates both social and emotional education in it. It is a very important life lesson to learn. This book would be a great asset to a classroom, counselling office and elementary school library. "Our Roof Is Blue" includes notes about the author's life in Puerto Rico and the yearly ritual of preparing for hurricanes. I highly recommend it.
This book originally caught my eye with the gorgeous illustrations. As amazing as the cover is, each page inside kept getting better and better. We especially loved the dog! The story line is so touching and leaves you with some great life lessons. I read this book to my 10 year old son and he was captivated from the very beginning. It showed him how tough some people have it, and that even through the difficult times in life, it’s possible to find joy. Highly recommend to read to anyone with young children.
Having been in Puerto Rico during the hurricanes, it was wonderful to read a picture book that dealt with the trauma that happened during that time, especially from a kid's perspective. I wish it had gone a little more in depth, but it was a nice story, nonetheless.
What a wonderful and much needed book! It addresses in words and beautiful illustrations the changes wrought by a devastating hurricane (especially the roof!) and the fears of (small) people resulting from the damages those forces of nature create without rhetoric or bland reassurances. Absolutely marvelous presentation!
The illustrations by Ashley Varga are fun, colorful, and delightful.
Well suited for reading WITH someone of any age including ESL, and great for gifting to anyone, but especially to a school or public library!
I requested and received a free temporary e-book on Adobe Digital Editions from Charlesbridge via NetGalley. Thank you!
This is a really great story about rebuilding and teamwork. I love the vibrant colors and the wonderful storyline.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I loved that this book showed us the perspective of two young siblings experiencing Hurricane Maria while living in Puerto Rico. I like to read about true events, makes me feel compassionate towards the people that had to go through that event personally.
Cute children's book in English that shows a family rebuilding their home after a storm has taken parts of their home off. This is a great book for parents that would like to introduce some Spanish to their children since there are some words that are in Spanish as well. Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for my honest feedback!
This book tells the story of two children who survive a hurricane with their parents but the roof of their house is lost. Over the course of the story the family makes do with a tarp and eventually the community helps them rebuild their roof. As a result of the trauma, the younger child, Antonio becomes mute and it isn't until the roof is fixed that he is able to speak again. I think this book shows that scary things happen to people, but family and community are there to help when you need it, and also that it can take time to recover from these scary things, but again, family can help with that too. I also think that bringing awareness to young readers about the weather and extreme conditions people in other countries may face is an important story to be told. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this book!
Thank you to the author, Charlesbridge and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This wonderful children's book helps to address the fears of what happens in extreme weather events, in this case a hurricane, and shows how a family prepares for and recovers from the devastation wrought by a hurricane that passes over their home in Puerto Rico. I loved the way the author interwove multiple layers of recovery - emotional and physical - and didn't sugarcoat the hardships involved. The relationship between the narrator and her younger brother was especially well-done, and showed how love and imagination are important building blocks for healing. Highly recommend!
Little brother Antonio told amazing stories, full of fantastic creatures and wild adventures. But then the hurricane came to Puerto Rico, and it was strong and terrible, and now Antonio doesn’t talk. It’s up to his big sister to tell the stories, help Antonio recover, and find his voice again.
The illustrations in this book are mostly full-color, full-spread, but there’s a few pages of “spotlight” images, with blank white on the periphery. They’re not used too much, so I’ve no complaints on skimping on the art. And the art is quite a delight! A lot of little details, especially animals. The way the illustrator conveys the make-believe sessions is also fun, with a sort of wispy, curling quality that makes them feel ephemeral.
The informational final pages focus on hurricanes, especially on how they’ve become stronger with climate change. I do wish there was some attention given to trauma/PTSD, since that is what Antonio is dealing with, but it’s also a pretty big subject to cover in a picture book!
Now, let’s just hope this book doesn’t have high utility. I.E., let’s hope there’s not another mega-hurricane on the way….
Advanced reader copy provided by the publisher.
A family endures a strong hurricane in this story, and then deals with the aftermath. It balances nicely between acknowledging that storms are scary and destructive but not being overly upsetting for kids to read. The children in the story are always safe and cared for, even if they have to endure hardships.
This is probably best suited to early and mid-elementary readers. The language is expressive and the vocabulary is rich, with bits of Spanish sprinkled in. The art is lively and colorful. This would be a good conversation-starter after a storm to help kids share, process, and talk about their experiences.
Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!
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