The Harvest Birds / Los pájaros de la cosecha
By Blanca López de Mariscal
Illustrated by Enrique Flores
Juan Zanate used to sit under his favorite tree—with his only friends, the harvest birds—dreaming and planning his life. Juan had big dreams of becoming a farmer like his father and grandfather. But when his father died and the land was divided, there was only enough for his two older brothers. In this charming story from the heart of the Indian tradition in Mexico, Juan learns to determine his own destiny—with help from his loyal friends, the harvest birds.
The zanate birds advise Juan to keep the weeds around his land and to plant beans, squash, and corn together. Children, parents, and teachers will enjoy learning about the traditions of rural Mexico while passing on the importance of respecting nature and the possibility of making dreams happen.
For ideas on how to teach the diversity of Spanish-speaking cultures, check out the NEH unit, La Familia, which recommends The Harvest Birds from EDSITEment, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) website for K–12 teachers, school librarians, and students.
About the Creators
teaches Mexican literature at the University in Monterrey, Mexico. Blanca is especially interested in the oral tradition of her Mexican ancestors. With her background in education, literature, and art, she is dedicated to bringing the oral tradition of Mexican culture to the young people of America. This is her first book for children.
is a fine artist from Mexico. His work is part of an emerging artistic movement coming out of the heart of the Indian tradition in Mexico. He lives with his family in the beautiful village of Huitzo, outside the city of Oaxaca.
About This Title
Interest Level:Grades 2 - 5
Reading Level:Grades 3 - 4
Nature/Science, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Overcoming Obstacles, Occupations, Neighbors, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican Interest, Imagination, Friendship, Food, Farming, Environment/Nature, Dreams & Aspirations, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Bilingual, Animals, Optimism/Enthusiasm, Persistence/Grit