Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is this week! Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for "the fifth of May" and is celebrated in the United States and Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Although Cinco de Mayo is actually a minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States the fifth of May has become a rather popular and widespread celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. For more information on the holiday's history, check out History.com or Wikipedia.

The public library has a wealth of resources for you and your family to check out to help celebrate the rich culture of Mexico. Below you will find some favorite juvenile titles that will expose you to the foods, traditions, families and language of Mexico and Mexican-American families.

The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart  (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012). This picture book tells the story of Isabel and her family who have relocated to the United States from Mexico. She must adjust to her new life and is struggling to learn English, but a large, discarded box soon becomes her special quiet space and helps her to connect with her new life.

Image from Amazon.com.
 Migrant by Maxine Trottier (Groundwood Books, 2011). This 2012 ALA Notable Children's Book opens the reader's eyes to the life of a Mexican migrant worker's family as we follow Anna, the youngest child, in her travels from her home of Mexico to Canada.

Image from Amazon.com
Adelita by Tomie DePaola (Puffin, 2004).  DePaola's Mexican Cinderella tale will take readers on a different journey from the Disney version we have become used to, with only nods to a pumpkin and a glass slipper through illustrations.  This rich story includes beautiful illustrations and many Spanish phrases throughout.     

Image from Amazon.com
Super Simple Mexican Art: Fun and Easy Art From Around the World by Alex Kuskowski (ABDO Publishing, 2012).  Ideal for elementary crafters, this book includes a brief history of Mexican culture and several crafts with step-by-step instructions.      
                                   
Image from Amazon.com
What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau (Yearling, 2008).  Fourteen year-old Clara spends the summer with her grandparents in Mexico and learns about her father's youth, and herself in the process.

Image from Amazon.com

If you're looking for some cooking inspiration for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta, we have several series of ethnic and regional cook books we'd be glad to show you.  We also have resources for the new Spanish language learner, and historical information on Mexico and Mexican culture.  Ask your librarians today!