Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del arcoíris
Ixchel wants to help her mother weave so that she can pay for her school fees. Because there isn’t enough thread available, Ixchel must find alternative materials if she wishes to make weavings to sell at the market. Set in Guatemala and based on Mayan women’s resourcefulness and the tradition of weaving, Marshall’s bilingual story tells how Ixchel uses plastic bags littered in her community to create beautiful, rainbow-colored weavings. Although Marshall relies on the monolithic term Mayan to describe Ixchel’s background, the glossary/pronunciation guide provided at the beginning of the book identifies the Mayan language used briefly in the text as Kaqchikel. Chavarri’s illustrations bring the story to life, incorporating vibrant colors and intricate patterns into the characters’ clothes and weavings in a way that allows young readers to see how the amazing tradition of weaving is passed on from generation to generation. A cheerful tale of innovation with strong multicultural ties. For another story on weaving in Guatemala, see Abuela’s Weave (1995), by Omar S. Catañeda.