Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford grew up in Nogales, AZ, along the U.S. Mexico Border. She knows the culture, steeped in family values and tradition; and she knows the old ways of healing. She tells us the story about Aaron, a curious young boy. Aaron wants his grandfather—su Tata—to teach him how to heal people using natural remedies: “My tata has been helping people feel better for as long as I can remember. He helps my family and me when we get hurt or feel sick. He helps the neighbors too. All anyone has to do is ask. When Tata’s done, he claps his hands and says, ‘Sana, sana, colita de rana, si no sanas hoy, sanarás mañana.’ This is Tata’s way of saying, ‘I’ll kiss it and rub it and make it go away. Now that you’re better, you can go out and play!’
Little Lily Lujan loves her flip-flops (aka her chanclas) as she slippity-slaps her way through life. She may be tiny, but you can hear her coming from a mile off. One day at a family fiesta, she was dancing to a thumping norteño tune with her tía Ophelia and her chanclas fall apart. And worse, a dog chewed them up. Poor Lily was inconsolable. How can she possibly face life without her chanclas?
José Lozano is a rising star in the thriving Los Angeles Latino art scene. He grew up back and forth in Juárez and El Paso where he latched onto his street-wise wisdom and humor among the cultural touchstones that continue to influence his work today — bad Mexican cinema, fotonovelas, ghost stories, and comic books.
It's bedtime! Lucky Nikko! It’s time to count luchadores. They bounce up and down like crazy. His mom, of course, doesn't believe Nikko. She accuses him of jumping on his bed. But that's just not true at all. She just can't see what Nikko sees. And to prove his point—zoosh! Here comes luchador numero UNO with a golden mask and a silver cape. Oh, wow. Number TWO wears an orange mask with yellow flames. Another looks like a jaguar and he growls! A rooster! A bull with horns! And a dragon that breathes fire! And so it goes until TEN luchadores are jumping on Nikko's bed. That's when the Great and Mighty Nikko puts on his mask, taking on all ten wrestlers at once and defeating them soundly. Ahh, a fresh victory under his belt, now it's time for Mighty Nikko to catch some zzzzzs!