Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del arcoíris
By School Library Journal
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.