Welcome to our new section – posts featuring books about music. And there are some amazing books out there that inspire children with tales of world cultures, especially through the eyes – and ears – of musical traditions!
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez who was born in Mexico City, this lovely book shares a very personal vision into the world of the mariachi and Mexican music traditions. Angela’s grandfather – or abuelo – was a real life mariachi and music helped him weather the ups and downs of life.
Filling this beautiful book about Angela’s Abuelo Apolinar are stories from his actual life – a childhood accident, moving to a new city alone and other struggles. Through it all, singing and music help him stay happy and connected with the things in life that mattered most to him.
Where does the title – Sing, Don’t Cry – come from? It’s a translation of part of the chorus of the song, Cielito Lindo. A staple of mariachi music, Cielito Lindo was written way back in 1882 by Mexican author Quirino Mendoza y Cortés and has a beloved place in the world of Mexican music. The chorus of the song roughly translates to… Sing, Don’t Cry, Because singing gladdens the heart.
Here’s the chorus translated and a video so you can enjoy the song, if you aren’t already familiar with it!
Ay, ay ay ay… canta no llores
Por que cantando se allegran, cielito lindo, los corazones
Ai, ai, ai ai – sing don’t cry
Because singing gladdens the heart (heavenly one, dear)
(One translation note here – the phrase cielito lindo literally means pretty little sky but is a term for a dear one or a sweetheart)
I really enjoyed this book because it speaks of the powerful connection between generations. The grandfather in the story gets to share his big life lessons with his grandchildren as well as his music. And clearly, his granddaughter is sharing her talent with the world as well! You can find Sing, Don’t Cry at your local library or purchase it on Amazon, here: http://a.co/7Z65b0E .
Links And Related Resources
Author Angela Dominguez’s website: https://www.angeladominguezbooks.com/
Free Mariachi Guitar Coloring Page: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mariachi-Guitar-Coloring-Page-2511636
Three Cinco De Mayo music crafts: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cinco-De-Mayo-Music-Crafts-2507025
Learn the song “Un Poco Loco” from the movie “Coco” http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/are-you-un-poco-loco-about-disneys-coco/
All About The Mexican Hot Chocolate Song: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/bate-bate-its-time-for-mexican-hot-chocolate/