A Movie in my Pillow/Una Película en mi Almohada
Text by Jorge Argueta
Illustrations by Elizabeth Gomez
Children’s Book Press, 2001

A young boy with two homelands and a delightful sense of wonder comes to life in Jorge Argueta’s first collection of poems for children. Young Jorgito lives in San Francisco’s Mission District, but he hasn’t forgotten his native El Salvador. He recalls the volcanoes, the tasty cornmeal pupusas, and his grandmother’s stories. As he changes from timid newcomer to seasoned city dweller, Jorgito’s memories and new adventures form a patchwork of dreams – the movie in his pillow – that is perfectly suited to his new bicultural identity.


  • 2001 Américas Award for Latin American Literature
  • Skipping Stones Honor Award for Multicultural Literature
  • IPPY Award for Multicultural Fiction for Juveniles

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-6-Poems in Spanish and in English communicate the poet’s memories of being a boy in El Salvador and in San Francisco. “Here chickens come/in plastic bags/Over there/they slept beside me.” The lines capture the pleasures and difficulties of living in each country, but mostly, they capture the sense of being a child in the city. “My bicycle/is a dragon/dancing/cumbias/all the way/to El Salvador.” Small notes next to the poems explain potentially unfamiliar terms (the cumbia is a Latin dance). Argueta has published several books of poetry, but this is his first for children. Gomez’s rich and bright paintings fill every spread with the same joy and literal humor that she used in Juan Felipe Herrera’s The Upside Down Boy. The style is almost primitive, and combines with the “handwritten” typeface to make the book feel immediate and comfortable. The author’s introduction and the artist’s title-page map of North America give context to the poet’s experiences, making this an appealing choice to fill the need for books about Salvadoreños, as well as an excellent addition to any poetry collection.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


For this book, Elizabeth created 18 original paintings using acrylic on paper. Click on the tiny paintings below to view the illustrations.