Cinco de Mayo: Celebrating the Traditions of Mexico

Overview

Just in time for May 5, celebrate the Mexican holiday that's rapidly growing in popularity in this festive and fact-filled photo-essay.

Every Cinco de Mayo, Rosa and her family cheer at a parade and enjoy delicious Mexican food. But what exactly is Cinco de Mayo? Although many people think May fifth marks Mexico's independence, the holiday is actually the anniversary of a decisive battle against foreign occupiers. Today, Cinco de Mayo is ...
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Overview

Just in time for May 5, celebrate the Mexican holiday that's rapidly growing in popularity in this festive and fact-filled photo-essay.

Every Cinco de Mayo, Rosa and her family cheer at a parade and enjoy delicious Mexican food. But what exactly is Cinco de Mayo? Although many people think May fifth marks Mexico's independence, the holiday is actually the anniversary of a decisive battle against foreign occupiers. Today, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated by many Mexican-Americans as well. Follow Rosa, a vivacious Mexican-American girl from California, as she learns about her heritage and celebrates the holiday with her family, friends, and community.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6- Hoyt-Goldsmith and Migdale's latest photo-essay uses the tried-and-true format of their earlier collaborations to follow Rosalba (Rosie) Rosas and her family as they celebrate Cinco de Mayo in her Mexican-American community in California. Hoyt-Goldsmith quickly sets the record straight-the holiday is not an observation of Mexico's independence, but a celebration of a victory over the French in 1862. Other historical notes include a brief overview of immigration to the United States and the origin of mariachi music. The prose comes alive when paired with Migdale's vibrant photographs of Rosie's family life: the running of their grocery store, the traditional dance performances, and the public fiesta for the holiday are juxtaposed with the private celebration of her grandmother's birthday. It is this masterful blend of information with universal family moments that makes this title such a welcome addition.-Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
When Mexico, four decades after winning independence, could not repay borrowed funds from France, the French Army invaded. Although the Mexicans won the first battle on May 5 (cinco de mayo), 1862, the French carried the war and took over the country for four years. Today, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans celebrate that one day of victory on Cinco de Mayo. This offering retells the history of the holiday, provides information about Benito Juarez, the president in 1862, and Mexican immigration and then focuses on the Rosas family and their young daughter, Rosie, from a town near San Francisco. Through Migdale's vibrant photos and Hoyt-Goldsmith's descriptive language, the holiday comes alive with tasty food, mariachi music, dancers showing off their clothing and steps (Rosie is a talented dancer) and charros (cowboys) whirling lariats and riding horses. In trying to be comprehensive, the text becomes a bit heavy at times, but this talented author/photographer team provides a sensory experience for its target audience and lots of information for adults working with young people. (glossary, map, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823421077
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 970L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith is the author of over a dozen picture books, many of which introduce and celebrate cultural traditions. She is the art director of Square Moon Productions, a book design and development company.

Lawrence Migdale enjoys photographing children in their own environments. He has collaborated with Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith and his work has received many starred reviews.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2008

    Perfect for teaching children and teens.

    I love this book! As a teacher for young children, this book is great for teaching children the true meaning of why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the United States. This book offers a simple explanation of the history behind May 5th, making it easy for children and adults to understand. This book also explains traditional dances, dresses, and food seen at many Cinco de Mayo celebrations. The pictures are colorful and large enough for a classroom full of students to see. As a Mexican American, I felt this book was accurate and brought me back to my childhood roots. A great book for all children and perfect for a classroom!

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