What are you reading, Esperanza Massana-Crane?

Esperanza Massana-Carne headshot wearing a blue dress

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born and raised in El Salvador in the 1980’s. I absolutely loved my childhood and growing up in El Salvador. Growing up was a lot like the world of Encanto in a way. We lived very close to the beach, so our weekends were always filled with trips to the beach.

My mom believed in the importance of education and that’s the reason she pushed for us to excel academically. She enrolled us in a British school when I was 5 years old. That’s where I learned to speak English. She then enrolled us in a German school when I was 10 years old, and not only did I learn to speak German, but I also learned to think critically. We followed a German and Salvadorean curriculum, and it truly shaped how I think and approach problems.

I currently serve the people of Arkansas as the Director of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. I love my job because it allows me the opportunity to be a voice for minority and women-owned businesses in the state, while also being a connector and resource-provider to help them grow.

Do you judge a book by its cover?

I’m a visual person, so I appreciate “pretty” covers. However, like my high-school literature teacher used to say: “The first line of a book already tells you how the book will be.”

What are you currently reading?

You will be delighted to know I’m reading this book called Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right. We have an almost 3-year-old and we are in the process of transitioning to the potty training stage. Although long overdue… But I’m also reading the book by my dear friend Sarah-Catherine Gutierrez, But First, Save 10: The One Simple Money Move That Will Change Your Life and Isabel Allende’s The House of Spirits. I’ve been wanting to read The House of Spirits book for the longest, and a dear friend of mine gave it to me as a gift.

What is your favorite memory of reading as a child? 

Children’s books are way more accessible now than they were when I was growing up in the middle of a civil war in El Salvador. I remember to this day the smell and look of this one book we had and that I loved for my mom to read to us. It was Aesop’s Fables, which is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece. I loved the messages behind the fables, and I especially loved my mom reading it to my brother and me.

CALS board member, Esperanza Massana-Crane reading a book with her son.What are your son’s favorite books, or what do you like reading to him?

A dear friend of ours gifted us with A Sick Day for Amos McGhee and we love the sweet note she wrote along with it, which is actually taped to the front of the book, and we read it the note every time we read the book. We love the book for that sentimental reason, but also for the message of friendship, community, and caring for each other.

We also love ANYTHING from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. We love all the books we have received through this awesome program. We particularly have enjoyed the Little Excavator (my son is in love with machinery and equipment) and all the Llama Llama Red Pajama ones.