Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English by Alma Flor Ada is a collection of simple poems for children. There is a different poem for each letter of the Spanish alphabet depicting the lives of Latin Americans in various aspects. The poems are written in both Spanish and English. They are each short in length and are different from one another. They are mostly about migrant workers and they speak of things such as work in the fields, fruits and vegetables, stars in the sky, love, and leisurely activities. There are young boys and girls, men and women seen in the illustrations that depict the main ideas of each of the different poems.
This book is both written and illustrated by insiders of the culture and is an excellent piece of authentic Latin American children's literature. The poems and pictures address migrant work realistically by depicting the physical labor and long hard hours without giving it a lack of admiration and respect. The poem titled "Thanks" is of a young girl giving thanks for all of the positive things she has in her life. The poem titled "Honor" is of a young boy speaking of the honorable work him and his family do in the fields. While the book portrays the migrant workers as having little on a material level, the poems titled "Thanks", "Pride", and "Honor" show that this did not affect their happiness. This is also reinforced through the illustrations where the characters are depicted with smiles on their faces, as content with their jobs, and as happy when they are together at the dinner table or sitting outside with their families. Another poem titled "Love" speaks of the strong bond and closeness between family members and extended family members. Pride of the Spanish language and Mexico are also themes in this piece of literature. These are all common values that are often held by members of this culture and therefore add to the books authenticity.