Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cinco De Mayo - Move, Eat, Draw, Learn with My Abuelita

Cinco De Mayo is a great opportunity for multicultural learning. In that spirit, I'm highlighting 2 children's books this week: My Abuelita written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Yuri Morales and Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh. 

 My Abuelita won the 2010 Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor, and the artwork definitely stood out for me and for my toddler. The vibrant, warm and inviting images pulled him in and the added activities we did in relation to the book made it a favorite library book for a couple of weeks. Here's 4 ideas this book inspired us to do:

1. Physical Activity: Stretch and bend like abuelita does. 

2. Cooking Activity: Make Huevos Estrellados like abuelita does. 

 Huevos estrellados or starry eggs were new to me, so I looked up recipes.

When I discovered that many people refer to them as eggs over fries, I was completely sold -- what kid wouldn't like that?

I made them two ways: eggs sunny side up (which is more traditional) for me (referencing this recipe) and scrambled eggs for my toddler (more like this recipe).

Whenever I make home fries, I feel like they take so long and I'm just standing over the stove stirring and stirring. So, I decided to cheat and made oven baked fries to use as the base of the dish. Then, I just scrambled eggs for Sky's version. It was a perfect breakfast for dinner (or brinner). We both ate every bite. Sky helped by scrambling the eggs and pouring them into the pan. He also liked arranging the fries on the plate. Here's my messy and delicious plate of starry eggs: 

3. Art Activity - Self Portraits (Frida Kahlo inspired art). 

Frida Kahlo is the name of the cat in the book -- What a great way to introduce her to children!

Frida did a lot of self-portraits, so I having your child draw a self-portrait is perfect. If you decide to select Frida Kahlo art samples to show your child (most likely from the web), please check the examples yourself before you click on an image for your child to see as some of her work contains nudity and violence. 

4. Language Learning Activity - Identify the Spanish words in the book and learn more Spanish words. 

Counting to ten and learning the names of colors is always fun. Also, it's fun to have children see how many Spanish words they already know (mostly food). A Spanish word scavenger hunt at the supermarket could be a lot of fun (and might get your child to try new foods). Here's a few examples of common Spanish words:
  • cafeteria, patio, rodeo, fiesta
  • taco, enchilada, jalapeno, salsa, burrito, guacamole, rodeo
Another thing I loved about this book was the opportunity it provided for discussions about family members (grandparents especially) and about storytelling and traditions. This interests us, in particular, since my husband's mother was from the Domincan Republic, but did not live to see our children -- we want to talk with them about their Abuelita, so she is still a part of their life. Perhaps, your child will want to have a grandparent do some storytelling for them, or will want to get out their stuffed animals and tell some stories themselves. Enjoy the book and the art of storytelling!

Sharing this post as part of the Around the World in 12 Dishes Series: Mexico!
Around the world in 12 Dishes

You might also like:

Ugly Duckling Activities

Creating a Library at Home


  1. I am soooo glad to see Frida Kahlo in this post! I wanted to do some Frida-inspired art this week, and so glad to see this book! Putting a hold on it right this minute. Thank you for this wonderful post.

  2. The fact that Frida Kahlo was the name of the cat was one of the coolest elements of the book!!

  3. What great learning extentions you did for this book! I loved doing activities like this with my 4th graders. I will have to look for this book for my little guy...we're trying to celebrate all cultures with him as he grows up! :)

  4. That looks so yummy, what a fun activity for you both! Thanks for sharing it with us at tip toe thru tuesday! Hope you'll stop by and link up tomorrow too, we will be having a nice Mother's Day giveaway!

  5. We haven't read this book - looks like a great one. And I love your recipe, yum! Thanks for sharing at the Kids Co-op Playdate :-)

  6. Oh, how fun!! Thanks for visiting and commenting on our pancit adventure.

  7. Another wonderful book! Thank you so much for sharing these! And I love all the activities you do based on the books. Wonderful!

  8. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing! I'm definitely going to try this recipe with baby girl! :)