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Birthday Gift Is Reminder That Family Is Love No Matter Where You Live In Multicultural Picture Book

Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Family is Love, No Matter Where You Live


Multicultural Picture Book and Story With a Life Lesson for Young Readers

Jenny Torres Sanchez's picture book and story With Lots of Love is a delightful multicultural and fun read for ages 4-8. Young readers now have many children in their schools and neighborhoods who come from other countries. Stories about children from other countries are important in that they help children learn about their friends from other places and build understanding about other cultures and what children from other countries have lost when they move to the United States.

Rocio and her family moved to the United States from Central America. There are numerous special things that she misses that she left behind when they moved. She misses her grandmother and cousins. She misses her grandmother's store with all of the special things that her grandmother sold in her store. She also misses the special pinatas and all of the fun that came with having these for parties. Rocio really misses those special tortillas that her grandmother made. Having others who spoke her language is also missed. Rocio made a special wish on one of the beautiful stars one night. She had a super surprise the next morning. Her grandmother had not forgotten her birthday and there were all of her special treats inside a birthday package all the way from back home in her home country.

Andre Ceolin contributed his talents as an illustrator for With Lots of Love with beautifully colored portrayals of all of the special things that were missed when Rocio moved with her family to the States. With Lots of Love has a life lesson for young readers and especially for all of the immigrant children who have moved with their families to America. Love from family back home can come to you no matter where you live.

With Lots of Love was published by Viking, a division of Penguin/Random House and has an ISBN of 978-0-593-20500-6.

Richly Colored Illustrations Help Tell Rocio's Story

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Bring Rocio's Story Into the Classroom for Fun Multicultural Learning Activities

Multicultural stories and picture books were always my favorite ways to teach multicultural lessons in my early elementary and early childhood classrooms. I always had a few children from Mexico in my classrooms through the years. There is a wealth of fun learning activities to use with students when you bring multicultural stories and picture books like Sanchez's With Lots of Love into your classroom. It continues to be important for teachers to teach students about children from other countries. Immigration from countries all over the world brings children into our schools and neighborhoods who are different. Teaching acceptance of the immigrant children and their families must be included in order to have peaceful communities.

*Read With Lots of Love in a story time session. Have a globe available for students to locate Central America .

*Call attention to the fact that Rocio speaks Spanish. Introduce students to a few words in Spanish. Provide drawing paper, crayons, and markers for children to illustrate each Spanish word and staple pages together to create a class Spanish dictionary.

*One of the special things that Rocio misses from her home country is the pinata. Bring in a pinata for children to have in the classroom. You might want to save the pinata for a class party later in the school year.

*Create a pinata with a large balloon, newspaper strips soaked in paste made from flour and water. Let dry and paint or decorate.

*Rocio also missed the delicious tortillas that her grandmother always made. Provide a cooking activity for students to prepare tortillas.

*Take a class poll of the number of students in your classroom and your school who speak Spanish. Take a poll of the number of different countries that students in your school come from and have a globe available for students to locate all of the countries.

*Have a class party with food from a variety of food from other countries in Central America and load the pinata with candy for a fun activity. Invite parents from your community bring in food from their country to serve at the party.

© 2022 Cindy Hewitt

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