Latino/a Kid Lit Challenge: What Can You Do With a Rebozo?

For the 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge:


This turned out to be a bit more challenging than I thought is would be. My local public library usually has an excellent selection of books. I was very surprised when I did a keyword search for Latino/Latina and found very few titles. Fortunately, Latin@s in Kid Lit has pages of resources at the website, organized nicely by age in the navigation bar at the top of the page. Once I found specific titles to search for, I found my library did carry most of them after all.

Today I went with an older book, published in 2008. It has been pretty cold lately in many parts of North America, so that made me think of What Can You Do With a Rebozo? by Carmen Tafolla and illustrated by Amy Cordova.

The reader may have seen a woman wearing a rebozo and not known its name or cultural significance. A rebozo is a piece of woven fabric that is worn in Mexico. It is like a cross between a shawl and a scarf, and would be perfect for wrapping up in on a cold day.

What Can You Do With a Rebozo?In the story, a young girl finds many uses for a rebozo. She tries playful and imaginative applications like using a rebozo as a blindfold at a birthday party or as a pirate’s sash during a dress up game. She also discovers practical uses for the rebozo like covering up at night or carrying a baby. At the end of the book, the author challenges readers to come up with some uses for a rebozo of their own.

Besides being a fun and educational book, it also has some serious credentials. Author Carmen Tafolla, a professor at the University of Texas–San Antonio, was San Antonio’s first poet laureate. The book was an Américas Award Commended Title 2009, as well as a Pura Belpré Award Honor Book for illustration in 2009 (Note:  both these award sites would be good places to look for books for the Latin@s challenge).

What Can You Do With a Rebozo? is a lovely introduction to a unique piece of Mexican culture. It would be a wonderful selection for the ALA’s El día de los niños/El día de los libros celebration on April 30, 2014 or any opportunity to learn about world cultures.

Extension activities:

  • Pull out art work or photographs showing women wearing or using rebozos (Frida Kahlo often wears one) to share
  • Show children actual rebozos, or shawls or scarves if you don’t have access to authentic ones. Allow the children to free play with them and see what happens.
  • Serape or rebozo craft at Crayola (serapes were typically worn by men)

Also available:  What Can You Do With a Rebozo?/¿Qué puedes hacer con un rebozo? (English and Spanish Edition) (English and Spanish Edition)

Qué puedes hacer con un rebozo

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Tricycle Press (April 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1582462208
ISBN-13: 978-1582462202

Look for 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge books on the third Wednesday of each month.

Interested in multicultural children’s books? Follow the our pinterest board.

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A Year of Multicultural Reading

Behind the scenes here at Wrapped in Foil we have lined up some exciting opportunities to share multicultural books this year. To kick the year off with a bang, let’s start with the 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge.

latinos in kid lit challenge

The challenge is pretty straightforward:  read one book a month that is written by a Latin@ author and/or includes Latin@ characters, settings, themes, etc. from January 1, 2014-December 31, 2014.

How to participate: post somewhere that you are joining the 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge and then sign up in the comments of the Reading Challenge announcement including a direct link to your post. They also request that you copy and paste their reading challenge logo onto your site. Go to the announcement page for other suggestions how to participate and great suggestions for books and resources.

Some books we’ve already reviewed:

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore and illustrated by Susan L. Roth (review)


The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough by Katie Smith Milway and illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault (review)

the-good-gardenEllen Ochoa: The First Hispanic Woman Astronaut by Maritza Romero (review)

Ellen-Ochoa-RomeroValerie Petrillo’s A Kid’s Guide to Latino History:  More than 50 Activities (review)

Latino-HistoryCan’t wait to add to the list.

Are you participating? If you’d like, let us know!


The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough

The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough by Katie Smith Milway and illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault the-good-garden(obtained as an electronic galley at NetGalley) is an inspiring story of a young girl from the hills of Honduras who helped her family learn how to grow their crops sustainably. Although listed in the children’s nonfiction section, the use of dialogue and made up names pushes it over into the creative nonfiction category.

In the beginning María’s family was struggling to grow enough even to feed themselves. When a new teacher comes to town, he teaches everyone new ways to grow crops, for example using terraces to cut down on erosion. Later he shows María and her family how to take their extra vegetables to the town and sell them directly, cutting out the greedy middle men called coyotes. By the end, they are able to make enough money to cover their basic needs.

Sylvie Daigneault’s illustrations are really what make this book. They are simply magical. You can see full examples in this post by Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough (CitizenKid) has a wonderful message about grassroots change and sustainability issues, but it also is an excellent introduction to another language and another culture. It has numerous Spanish words sprinkled throughout the text. With all that is being said recently about lack of diversity in children’s books, here is one prominent exception.


Age Range: 8 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Kids Can Press (September 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1554534887
ISBN-13: 978-1554534883





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 Booktalking to see who is hosting each week.

Today’s round up is at Ms. Yingling Reads.


Ellen Ochoa and Women in Space

This is a busy time of year. In addition to World Space Week, it’s also National Hispanic Heritage Month. To celebrate both, let’s take a look at Ellen Ochoa: The First Hispanic Woman Astronaut by Maritza Romero.

Starting out life as one of five sisters and daughter of a single parent, Ellen Ochoa could have gone in many directions. She chose to go to school and study hard. She majored in electrical engineering  at Stanford University, where she earned her doctorate by studying optical systems. After becoming a pioneer in the field and inventing optical devices used in recognizing images, she went to work for NASA. She became the first female Hispanic astronaut in July 1991. Participating in four space flights, Dr. Ochoa was in space over 978 hours. She currently serves as Deputy Director at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. What an inspiring woman!

If you are interested in learning more, try Ellen Ochoa: The First Hispanic Woman Astronaut or one of the other age-appropriate biographies of Ellen Ochoa:

For other inspiring stories of women astronauts to celebrate World Space Week, be sure to check:

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone
Note: I have to admit I didn’t care for this one on my first reading, somewhat because there are so many women to keep track of. I liked it much better with a second reading.

Roberta Bondar: Canada’s First Woman in Space
by Judy Wearing is about another inspiring woman who worked hard and sacrificed to become an astronaut.

For more information about Hispanic culture and Latino history, I recommend Valerie Petrillo’s A Kid’s Guide to Latino History:  More than 50 Activities.

Be sure to visit National Hispanic Heritage Month Roundup at Books Together Blog.