I have a confession to make. I absolutely love Chicago Review Press’ children’s books with hands-on activities. They are fabulous. Given that, it is no wonder Valerie Petrillo’s A Kid’s Guide to Latino History: More than 50 Activities is the book I picked for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Wrapped around so many juicy projects that you want to do them all at once, is the history of Latinos starting from Columbus’s discovery of the New World for Spain. This history is not an easy one to read, and it is could be controversial in our current political climate. Petrillo hits the right tone, however, with a quick and straightforward recitation of the facts. She has a lot of information to cover, and she gets right to the point. She supplies enough details to keep children interested. but not so many they are overwhelmed.
Without a doubt, however, the activities are the star of this wonderful book. Starting with a recipe for Champurrado, a drink with Spanish roots, to designing a poster to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, this book has a wealth of activities. There are games, toys, crafts, dances and food. These are thoughtful, carefully-researched projects that truly reinforce learning. The activities could be used with the text or stand alone. Every educator will want a copy of this incredibly useful resource nearby.
In fact there are so many wonderful projects, I wish Hispanic Heritage Month lasted all year!
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (August 1, 2009)
Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Anastasia Suen’s Nonfiction Monday page. This week’s post is at Madigan Reads.