Colorful Mondays: A Bookmobile Spreads Hope in Honduras | Nelson Rodríguez and Leonardo Agustín Montes


Colorful Mondays: A Bookmobile Spreads Hope in Honduras written by Nelson Rodríguez and Leonardo Agustín Montes, illustrated by Rosana Faría and Carla Tobora, and translated by Lawrence Schimel

Out now from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers; 36 pages

About the Authors: Nelson Rodríguez is a children’s writer, music teacher, and performer, and the director of JustWorld International’s Asociación Compartir mobile library project. Through a chain of serendipitous events, he met children’s bookseller Leonardo Agustín Montes and began collaborating with him on children’s stories. Colorful Mondays is their English-language debut” (Bio from Colorful Mondays). 

Find Nelson Rodríguez and Leonardo Agustín Montes on the following platforms:

About the Illustrators: “Rosana Faría and Carla Taboraco founded the art studio Tiliabooks and began illustrating projects together in 2020. Carla is a Brazilian visual artist and photographer whose work has been exhibited across the world. Rosana is a Venezuelan professor and illustrator whose Black Book of Colors (Groundwood) was a 2008 New York Times Best Illustrated Book. Both Carla and Rosana are based in Barcelona, Spain. Follow their studio Tiliabooks on Instagram @tiliabooks and visit Tiliabooks’s website” (Bio from Colorful Mondays).

Find Rosana Faría and Carla Taboraco on the following platforms:

About the Translator: “Lawrence Schimel has written or translated over 200 books, including Niños, 9 Kilometers, and the Batchelder Honor Book Different (all Eerdmans). His works have received many awards, including a PEN Translates Award and the GLLI Translated YA Book Prize Honor. Lawrence lives in Madrid, Spain. Follow him on Twitter @lawrenceschimel” (Bio from Colorful Mondays).

Find Lawrence Schimel on the following platforms:

“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.”

Based on a real bookmobile program in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Colorful Mondays tells the story of a young boy named Luis who lives in Villa Nueva, Honduras. In his country, so many sad stories fill the lives of his people, overshadowing any happiness that may try to slip through. Luis deeply wishes that he could fill his friends’ and family’s lives with the color and positivity that “happy stories” bring. Being an aspiring storyteller himself, he cheerfully tells awe-inspiring tales with flair. Where does he get these stories from? Well, every Monday, Gerson and Nelson – who run a bookmobile program – come for the Hour of the Chochororochochochó! Follow Luis as he explores the wonders and hues that bloom in his room through the power of storytelling and artistry.

Colorful Mondays is the perfect story to illustrate the powerful effect that children’s books have on youth. It emphasizes the idea of the immense potential that stories, particularly happy ones, have in instilling hope and possibility in a child. I love the “colorful” theme being explored in both the art style and the narrative, as it visually shows the domino effect that storytelling can have on an individual and the community. Rosana Faría and Carla Taboraco’s art style fosters a mural feel, with each panel flowing into each other with swirls of color and strokes of shade. Colorful Mondays reminds me of a picture book I reviewed called Music Is A Rainbow by Bryan Collier, because both stories handle the topic of tough and sad situations and show how art—through storytelling or music—breathes life and promise into the world. It’s clear to see how much care, love, and pride has gone into this book. It not only contributes to the growing collection of diverse Hispanic literature, but it also shows how fiction and reality can mingle to produce a kaleidoscopic world!

(Pine Reads Review would like to thank Eerdmans Books for Young Readers for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change before final publication.)

Tereza Rascon, Pine Reads Review Writer, Website & Social Media Manager