Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match / Marisol McDonald no combina

By Monica Brown
Illustrated by Sara Palacios

Hardcover: $19.95


Marisol McDonald has flaming red hair and nut-brown skin. Polka dots and stripes are her favorite combination. She prefers peanut butter and jelly burritos in her lunch box. To Marisol, these seemingly mismatched things make perfect sense together.

Other people wrinkle their nose in confusion at Marisol—can’t she just choose one or the other? Try as she might, in a world where everyone tries to put this biracial, Peruvian-Scottish-American girl into a box, Marisol McDonald doesn’t match. And that’s just fine with her.

A mestiza Peruvian American of European, Jewish, and Amerindian heritage, renowned author Monica Brown wrote this lively story to bring her own experience of being mismatched to life. Her buoyant prose is perfectly matched by Sara Palacios’ mixed media illustrations.

View and Download the Teacher's Guide

Check out the Lesson Plans, "Trees of Caring: Roots and Wings" and "Circles of Caring Community", from Welcoming Schools featuring Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match/Marisol McDonald no combina to help students learn from and connect with diverse family structures and how families support each other. To find other free activites, lesson plans, and book lists that celebrate diverse family structures and LGBTQ families, visit

Check out the Marisol McDonald Activity Kit created by Leigh Courtney and provided by author Monica Brown.

Check out Making Matches art activity, made by Crayola® Creativity Central.

Discover the Story Guide in English or Spanish from Jumpstart, a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed.

Teach how to compare and contrast using Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match.

Explore learning activities for Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match from Learning for Justice, a project created by The Southern Poverty Law Center for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity, and respect for differences in schools.

Check out Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match in the Building Classroom Community in Kindergarten unit and collection

About the Creators

Thumb_monica_brown_2019 Monica Brown - Author

MONICA BROWN has written twenty acclaimed picture books, including the Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor-winning Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match, as well as the Lola Levine and Sarai chapter book series. Most of her stories are inspired by her desire to bring diverse stories to children and by her own mixed heritage, which includes Peruvian, Scottish, Spanish, Amerindian, and Jewish ancestry. When not writing for children, Brown serves as a professor of English at Northern Arizona University, where she teaches about US Latino and multicultural literature. Brown lives with her family in Flagstaff, Arizona. Her website is

Photo: Jake Hoyungowa

Thumb_thumb Sara Palacios

was born in Mexico City. She holds degrees in Graphic Design, Illustration, and Digital Graphic Techniques, and is pursuing her MFA in Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She divides her time between Mexico City and San Francisco, California. Her website is