Culture, weaving, recycling, mothers and daughters – WOW! All woven into one wonderful children’s book. Take a look!
Title: Rainbow Weaver, Tejedora del Arcoíris
Written by: Linda Elovitz Marshall
Illustrated by: Elisa Chavarri
Lee and Low, 2016, bilingual English/Spanish
Suitable for ages: 6-10
Themes/topics: weaving, Guatemala, traditions, recycling, mothers & daughters
High in the mountains above Lake Atitlán, Ixchel watched her mother weave thread into fabric as beautiful as a rainbows. The fabric had blues as clear as the sky, reds as bright as the flowers, and yellows as golden as the corn.
“Mama,” Ixchel asked. “May I weave too?”
Brief synopsis (from barnesandnoble.com)
A young Mayan girl isn’t allowed to use her mother’s thread to weave, so with a little ingenuity she discovers how to repurpose plastic bags to create colorful weavings. Based on an actual recycling movement in Guatemala.
Why I like this book:
This book features so many of my favorite things: weaving, culture, traditions, recycling, language and socio-economic development. So often kids are told to wait until they’re older to participate in activities. But this determined girl isn’t brushed off so easily. A creative thinker, she tries various methods that don’t work, doesn’t give up, and finally discovers her own way to weave a rainbow and help the environment, too. Often, children in the U. S. take their education for granted and don’t realize that in many countries families must pay for school, and, with meager funds, that may not be the top priority. Though the text is presented in English and Spanish, the characters use words from a Mayan language called Kaqchikel. A glossary and pronunciation guide is provided. The illustrations are colorful and endearing. The story was inspired by the author’s friends who started a weaving cooperative, Mayan Hands, in Guatemala. A portion of the proceeds from the book benefit two Mayan weaving cooperatives, their children’s education, and health care.
A special shout-out for this book to weavers and ESL teachers!
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent activities and resources.