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Colorful Mondays: A Bookmobile Spreads Hope in Honduras by Nelson Rodriguez and Leonardo Augustin Montes. Illustrated by Rosana Faria and Carla Tabora. Translated by Lawrence Schimel


In Villa Nueva, Honduras, young Luis is aware that many sad stories hang like dark clouds above the people he encounters as he goes to the community well and when he sells tortillas at the market. Luis has a goal—he wants to ensure that no one has any reason to be sad so “he likes to fill the lives of his family and friends with joy and color through happy stories.” A natural storyteller, Luis delights his audiences.

Luis especially loves Mondays because that’s the day two men named Nelson and Gerson arrive with the bookmobile filled with plenty of happy stories for the Hour of the Chochororochochocho, a word that Luis thinks is “marvelously tangled together.” As children flock to the bookmobile and wait expectantly for Nelson and Gerson to set up, Luis “notices the dark clouds hanging over many of those who arrive.”

Each person waits in expectation for what will happen next. Will a book be read out loud? Will Gerson and Nelson put on a puppet show or lead everyone in a song? No matter what occurs, Luis notices that his friends momentarily forget that they’re hungry or have no shoes.

Finally, it’s time for the best part of the visit—each person is allowed to pick a book and spend time reading it! Later, Luis takes the opportunity to share a story he wrote with Nelson, who assures him that he has great potential as a writer.

When the bookmobile visit ends, Nelson and Gerson encourage everyone: “Fill the air with colors ... and be careful when breathing sad stories.” Luis hopes “that all the bookmobile’s visitors take away with them, as he does, the feeling of freedom that’s necessary for running, for laughing, for sharing happy stories.”

In this enthusiastically narrated and exquisitely illustrated children’s picture book based on true stories, authors Nelson Rodriguez and Leonardo Augustin Montes and artists Rosana Faria and Carla Tabora capture the emotional journeys of children from struggling under clouds of sadness and gloom to experiencing a vibrant, multi-coloured world where stories and other art forms fill them with hope and help them to flourish.

(Eerdmans Books for Young Readers)

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