Hispanic Heritage Month and Honoring a Monarch

Here are the books I brought to Good Day Alabama on WBRC Fox 6 this month. They include a couple of books in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) and one in honor of the late Queen.

Just Ask!:  Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

The first Latina to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court teamed up with award-winning artist Rafael Lopez to create a picture book for youngsters from preschool to third grade that explores differences in a way that is delightfully affirmative. Drawing on her own experiences as a child with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor addresses differences in abilities of all kinds that children might face and points out that those are the very things that make each of us unique. In the book, the children work together to build a community garden and, as they work, they ask questions of each other and discover that challenges usually come with special powers. Readers, in turn, are encouraged to ask questions when we come across someone who is different from us. “Just ask” is the message and the key to help us better understand each other.

Treasures of the Mexican Table:  Classic Recipes, Local Secrets

by Pati Jinich

Pati Jinich, whose PBS series Pati’s Mexican Table has won three James Beard Awards, sets out to define—and share in a deliciously usable way—the country’s cuisine. It’s no small task; Mexico’s rich culinary history stretches back thousands of years and goes way, way beyond what we usually think of when we think of Mexican food. Jinich has spent years collecting treasured recipes from her home country—from birria to salsa macha, from coyotas to carne asada. In this beautiful book—which is part cookbook, part history lesson—she shares heirloom dishes that have been passed down for generations. Some are hyper-local specialties, unknown outside certain regions; others are immediately familiar classics. Each recipe has been tested in Pati’s American kitchen and so is easy to follow. And each comes with a story. Of course.

Queen of Our Times:  The Life of Queen Elizabeth II

by Robert HardmanThis book, by a renowned royal biographer, was written to commemorate the recent 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. More than a monarch, Queen Elizabeth II became a cultural icon, a 21st-century global phenomenon respected—and beloved—around the world. She was a symbol of stability in a time of unparalleled social and political change. As her subjects mourn her passing at this moment, some of the recurring descriptions of her include “steadfast” and “devoted.”  Queen Elizabeth II reigned through more seismic social change than any monarch in British history and she remained as intriguing as she was when she first took the throne at age 25. Hardman also wrote Her Majesty and Queen of the World, so he has already looked at the Queen as a modern monarch and written about her role as an international ambassador. This newer book celebrates the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by drawing on previously unpublished Royal Family papers and photographs as well as anecdotal stories and personal remembrances from other world leaders to explain why the Queen, the longest-reigning monarch in U.K. history, is one of the most admired and beloved royals in a thousand years of monarchy.

I link to Amazon to show you exactly what book I’m talking about, but I love to shop locally at Church Street Coffee and BooksThe Alabama Booksmith, Little Professor Book Center, and I often visit my local library.

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