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Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del Arcoiris Hardcover – October 15, 2016
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Fans of Omar S. Castañeda's Abuela's Weave will enjoy this lovely selection about perseverance, community, and the ancient Mayan art of weaving. In order to earn money at the market, the women in young Ixchel's Guatemalan village "weave thread into fabric as beautiful as a rainbow." The girl desperately wants to learn and participate in this traditional art, but her mother gently refuses. Mama tells her that the money she earns from the cloth will be used to purchase books and fund an education for Ixchel. The cloth must be eye-catching in order to earn a good price. Ixchel is disappointed but determined to help and soon comes up with a creative way to clean up her village and weave a unique type of cloth. Vibrant illustrations bring the story to life and provide readers with a glimpse of indigenous Guatemalan culture. The images could also be used during a discussion about facial expressions and how they communicate emotions. The English and Spanish texts are clearly delineated. The author incorporates several words in Kaqchikel, one of the Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala. A glossary and pronunciation guide are provided at the beginning of the volume. A detailed author's note at the narrative's conclusion explains the inspiration for this tale. Pair this with a simple weaving project and some primary source photographs. VERDICT An uplifting offering that would be a wonderful addition to picture book collections and STEAM programs.—Katie Darrin, Boulder Valley School District, CO
About the Author
LINDA ELOVITZ MARSHALL grew up near Boston, graduated from Barnard College, and raised four children and a flock of sheep on a farm in the Hudson Valley of New York. She is the author of several books for young readers and was inspired to write this story by dear friends and founders of Mayan Hands, an organization of weavers in Guatemala. Marshall liveswith her family in Selkirk, New York.
ELISA CHAVARRI is a full-time illustrator who graduated with honors from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she majored in Classical Animation and minored in Comics. Born in Peru, she now lives with her husband and their daughter, cat, and dog in northernMichigan.
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Top Customer Reviews
Scans and photos of actual Mayan weavings are used in Chavarri’s drawings. These works, incorporated into her full-page colorful drawings, beautifully illustrate Ixchel’s story and show how Mayan designs resemble rainbows.
Though Ixchel is fiction, a group of weavers in Guatemala create purses, baskets and more from plastic bags and threads, which they sell through cooperatives in the United States and other countries. In the 1980’s an organization called “Mayan Hands” was formed to help these weavers sell their products. Proceeds from the sale of “Rainbow weaver” will not only help weavers, but also help pay for medical care and for their children to go to school.
Recommended for ages 5-10.