cover image The Coquíes Still Sing: A Story of Home, Hope, and Rebuilding

The Coquíes Still Sing: A Story of Home, Hope, and Rebuilding

Karina Nicole González, illus. by Krystal Quiles. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-78718-7

One family’s resilience amid disaster is the soaring note in this full-throated tribute to Puerto Rico’s survival following Hurricane María. At sunrise, amid the rural lushness of the child’s mountain home, narrator Elena climbs atop a corrugated roof to pick from Abuela’s mango tree, its fruit, writes González, “the sweetest snack.” “And when night falls, a song fills the air”—the serenade of the coquí frogs—to which Elena responds, “Co-quí, Co-qui. Oh, how I love thee.” That love proves sustaining as a hurricane tears the roof from the family’s house and defoliates the countryside. The family emerges, “wet and scared, but we are alive,” in a picture book that centers garden as gathering place, “where seeds of hope are planted.” Quiles communicates abundance, joy, and loss through expressive brushwork: the jewel-toned gouache and acrylics, finished digitally, produce detailed, almost-pluckable mangoes, while rough strokes depict the coming-apart of the fabric of daily life. Endnotes convey the larger message: self-determination for Puerto Rico. Available in English and Spanish editions. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)