books and poems

Books written by Dr. Renee fajardo

The tummy tales series

    Twenty years ago with a grant from the Colorado Council of the Arts, Elizabeth Fajardo a  Jeffco PTA mother of seven and Carl Ruby the media specialist for Thomson Elementary in Arvada, CO,  published their first children's book,  Holy Mole Guacamole & Other Tummy Tales. The multi-cultural stories in the book highlighted traditional family food tales complete with recipes and a lot of humor. The goal at that time said Fajardo was to “create a book that all children from many different cultural backgrounds  could relate to. Family recipes proved to be  great common ground.” Ruby and Fajardo gleaned the stories and recipes both from their own family traditions and from residents of Denver's numerous ethnic neighborhoods. Foods featured in the book include everything from black-eyed peas and Italian pizzelles to matzo balls and Navajo tacos.  Edwinagrad and illustrator Arlette Lucero complemented the team in 2002.

 

HOLY MOLE GUACAMOLE

compiled by: renee fajardo & carl ruby - illustrated by arlette lucero-Editor Ed Winograd
HOLYMOLE GUACAMOLE tummy tales

"Things changed like needles on a pine tree in spring. but the roots remained firmly planted in the rich dark.  she was dine.  she  had always been dine, she always would.  and as her tears fell she remembered more than she knew"

Holymole Guacamole & Other Tummy Tales (2000)

 

pincha lotta enchiladas

compiled by: renee fajardo & carl ruby - illustrated by arlette lucero

There are some things that can never be found once they are lost.  there are special things that are passed on from one generation to another.  they are things that cannot be held in your hand, things that must be held close to your heart.

Also featured in Chicken Soup For The Latino Soul!

Pinch A Lotta Enchiladas & Other Tummy Tales  (2002)

PINCHA LOTTA ENCHILADAS tummy tales

 

CHILLI TODAY, HOT TAMALE

compiled by: renee fajardo & carl ruby - illustrated by arlette lucero
CHILLI TODAY, HOT TAMALE tummy tales

"but no matter how much time passes, some things remain constant.  They are things you can't see with your eyes.  they are the very breath of our existence.  The love between family and friends, the warmth that fills your heart when you feel the familiar glow and comfort of home, the realization that even as you love and remember the past, the future is open wide before you.  These things are the very soul of our existence."

Chili Today Hot Tamale & Other Tummy Tales (2005)

 

Ole! posole!

compiled by: renee fajardo & carl ruby - illustrated by arlette lucero

"I knew then that a new family leyenda had been born.  both the song and the soup would forever be etched in my memory. i knew that although times could be hard, there was 'ole!' it was a word of magic and hope and familia, a word to help us smile.  my extended family spanned many generations and came from many different places.  but 'ole!' meant the same thing for all of us. there is always a new day, a birthday, a new beginning, a new reason to rejoice."

Ole! Posole! & Other Tummy Tales (2006)

OLE! POSOLE tummy tales

frijoles, elotes, y chipotles, oh my!

compiled by: renee fajardo & carl ruby - illustrated by arlette lucero
FRIJOLES, ELOTES, Y CHIPOTLES, OH MY! tummy tales

Life is about perceptions. The glass is either half full or half empty. The cupboard may be bare but full of opportunity to fill it with.  When we think that things look desperate we have the ability to find the positive possibilities that exist  - Renee Fajardo

Frijoles, Elotes y Chipotles and Other Tummy Tales (2016)

chicken soup for the latino soul

Enchiladas: A Metaphor for Life! (2003)

POETRY

las mariposas


When I sleep I do not dream of the past but of the future
I awaken in trembling fear for what I have seen
They are coming across the vast water
There has been light in the night sky
And whispers upon the wind from the north
They are coming across the vast water
I see great fires burring not with the warmth of family and home
But with fear and destruction
They are bringing sickness
It burns them with a fever of gold and silver
The weakest of our kind shall die of another fever
They are coming across the vast waters
Marching into our world and nothing will ever be the same
When I sleep I do not dream of the past but of the future
This world will be gone soon
But I saw you last night, my heart, my soul, and my loves
Hundreds of years from now
Children of my children's children, I saw you
What was once shall never be but there is a new life
And I am there with you
When you look at a morning sunrise and feel the beauty of creation
I am there with you
I pulse through your blood with a thousand years of memories
The quetzal bird I hearted at five still echoes in your past
The sweet scent of orchards and hyacinth lingers in long forgotten memories of your genetic code
My grandfather's nose, my grandmother's lips there on your face
When the moon shines so lovely over the snow dusted mountains where you now live
And the hair on the back of your neck rises with an eerie feeling that some one is watching.
It is me, my loves
I am here as you shall be one day...
WATCHING OVER YOU WHEN I SLEEP I DO NOT DREAM OF THE PAST,
BUT OF THE FUTURE THIS IS NOT THE END... BLESSING AND PRAYERS KNOW
THAT YOU WERE ALWAYS LOVED EVEN A THOUSAND YEAR BEFORE YOU WERE BORN

Only a Drop


One day there will be no more than one drop of blood left
Not enough to be recognized by anyone but those of faith
All the blood shed and wars and tears of the past
Will have washed away all but this one drop
Some will say that there isn’t enough left to count for anything
They will tell you that what you once were is no more
Breed out and bled dry, your people are no more
And as the future opens up with unimagined visions
You may not even care to remember that once we were warriors
That once this land as far as you can see was your heritage, your sacred place, your hearts home…
You may not even want to hold onto the distant echoes or
To say that once we were spoken words on the wind
Flying like eagles over the horizon of mankind
One day there will be no more than one drop left
Not enough to be recognized by anyone but those of faith
A hundred years ago your ancestors were ripped from the womb of their land
Their sun rises and sun sets were captured by those who came with out understanding
There was no turning back, no running away
Those that did not die were swept into the fold of the masses
And now there is only one drop of blood left
Not enough to be recognized by anyone but those of faith
Yet that one drop of blood for those of faith is forever
It can not be erased, eliminated or annihilated
It is forever
Like an atomic particle split in two, then four, then eight, then a millionth of a fraction
It is forever...
And it is enough for those of faith to reclaim all that there once was.
It is enough to spark a fire
In your soul it is enough to connect you to all that there was and all there shall be
Like a prayer from heaven it is a glimmering hope shining deep inside
One day there will be only one drop of blood left
And it is enough


© Copyright Renee Fajardo