Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Little Giants by Raynelda Calderon - Book Tour & Review

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by reading a short collection of biographies about Hispanic women and the impact they made in the world!

By Raynelda Calderon

LITTLE GIANTS: 10 HISPANIC WOMEN WHO MADE HISTORY, Juvenile Biography, Cavena Press, Inc., 64 pp.

Little Giants: 10 Hispanic Women Who Made History is a short collection of biographies about Hispanic women and the impact they made in the world. Some of the women featured in this book are iconic figures such as ballet dancer Alicia Alonso; others are less known heroines such as indigenous leader Dolores Cacuango, founder of the first bilingual school in Ecuador. Beautiful illustrations accompany the text to bring these women to life and inspire the young generation of readers to be leaders tomorrow.

This book is a great resource to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by reading about the history and accomplishments of these courageous women and their contributions in Latin America.


“This is what every Hispanic household needs. Finally a powerful book that we can share with our next generation ( and even adults).” – Amazon reviewer

Alicia Alonso

International Ballet Legend

Can you imagine being a dancer and going almost blind all of a sudden? How would you dance if you could barely see? This is what happened to Alicia Alonso, one of the greatest ballet dancers in history.

Born in Havana, Cuba on December 21, 1922, Alicia began to dance when she was only nine years old, and she made her first presentation in the ballet Sleeping Beauty. At 16, she moved to New York, where she started to be well-known and praised

as a rising ballet star.

Just when her career was starting to take off, Alicia began having sight problems when the retinas of her eyes detached. She underwent surgery to correct the problem and was ordered to spend three months in bed. Can you imagine being in bed for three months without being able to move?

When the blindfolds were removed, Alicia was disappointed that the operation had not worked and she still could not see. Determined not to give up, she underwent a second surgery, again without success. After these two failed surgeries, the doctors gave up and told her that she would never be able to completely see again. Alicia felt very sad. How was she going to be able to dance?

Instead of accepting the medical diagnosis, Alicia went to Cuba to undergo a third surgery; this time, she was ordered to rest for an entire year! During that time, she was not supposed to move her head, laugh, cry, or eat anything hard. She had to lie completely still, like a corpse!

When at last Alicia was able to move again, she returned to New York. Although she had not yet fully recovered, she accepted the lead role in a famous production called Giselle. Her performance was a success! Although she would eventually regain her sight, she could mostly see shadow.

Alicia became one of the best dancers in history. She danced in the most famous ballets of the world and won many awards, such as the coveted Dance Magazine Award. She became a prima ballerina assoluta, a rare honor given only to the very best ballerinas. 

Little Giants is an inspiring children's book about 10 Hispanic women who changed the course of history. They paved the way for other women to be able to do things, just like men, and their achievements are brought to life within the pages of this book.
From the first female bullfighter to the first female doctor in Latin America, each woman is unique and special, and she proved that women could do the same things men could. They didn't need to stay home and be wives and mothers (although quite a few of them did have husbands and children). They didn't need to be kept as pretty ornaments on the shelf, seen and never heard. Nope, these women took a stance and decided to buck tradition. They said, "Hey, I'm going to do this thing and that's that." This book showcases these 10 women, honoring them by sharing their stories.
I found this to be fascinating. I had never heard of any of these women, and I was rather surprised and delighted by the fact that they were so powerful and inspirational. That they didn't let anything stop them, even in a time when it was frowned upon for women to do these things. I think my favorite was Conchita Citron, but only because bullfighting is so wildly dangerous. She didn't let that stop her, though, and becoming a bullfighter so young makes her pretty darn awesome, in my opinion. But every woman featured is this book is amazing in their own way. 
Children (and adults) will definitely find Little Giants to be exciting, intriguing, and wonderful. It's educational, and it's a book that needs to be shared with the world. 
5 stars!

Amazon →

Cayena Press →

Raynelda Calderon grew up in the Dominican Republic, on a healthy diet of romance novels, comic strips, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s books, and the strict watch of her mother. She has a doctorate in leadership in higher education and works as a public librarian.

As a librarian, working with children inspires her to write about the accomplishments of Hispanics in history. She hopes to inspire young readers to follow their passions.

Raynelda lives in New York with an untamed Shih Tzu, Toby, and a much attached Chihuahua, Maya. She spends her free time thinking (and drafting) about books to write, or painting, crocheting, or crying over abused dogs.

You can visit her website at Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

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