Nuestro techo es azul
Sara E. Echenique, author
Sara E. Echenique grew up preparing for and surviving hurricanes in Puerto Rico. This is her first picture book.
Read more about Sara.
Ashley Vargas, illustrator
Ashley Vargas is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology's Illustration BFA program. This is her first picture book.
Read more about Ashley.
New York Public Library Best Book of 2023
A Puerto Rican girl and her storytelling brother, Antonio, survive a powerful hurricane that rips the roof off of their home.
The trauma of the storm silences Antonio, and he is no longer able to share his gift of stories. A blue tarp covers the house until they can replace it with a new roof—a daily reminder of the storm and the damage it caused. Still, the siblings find joy in the situation, imagining that the blue hue cast by sunlight through the tarp is the water of the ocean or envisioning the shadows as macaws and herons in the jungle. The protagonist promises to help Antonio find his voice. Eventually, the roof is replaced, and Antonio regains his speech, ready to share his stories once again. In their newly mended home, the family finds a creative way to honor the blue tarp that sheltered them. The story and a note from the author bring an important focus to the continued recovery of Puerto Rico after devastating hurricanes such as 2017’s Irma and Maria and the challenges that Puerto Ricans continue to face as they rebuild. Vargas’ art has a scribbly, childlike feeling that makes the tale relatable despite its potentially scary subject. The siblings and their parents have brown skin and curly brown hair.
Healing, both physical and emotional, is eased through the power of story. (hurricane and climate change information, ways children can help)
Page count: 32
9 x 9