Morpho Literacy

Bilingual Literacy-Based Programming with Amy Olson

Breaking through Cultural Barriers: Using Latin American Folktales in Literacy and Library Programming May 26, 2010

Folktales are a fantastic programming tool to promote cultural awareness, diversity, normalization, and compassion in both classroom and library settings.  This chapter emphasizes significant Latin American folklore and the influential power of storytelling while also providing concrete examples of simple ways for children’s, youth, and school librarians to incorporate folktales into bilingual programs and lesson plans for both Latino[1] and non-Latino children.

Folktales reflect people past and present. They answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how of a peoples’ cultural origins, traits, composition, belief systems, etc.  Folktales are the tales, games, superstitions, proverbs/dichos, riddles and songs of a culture.  They are tools of instruction, collections of wisdom, and core values that are passed down from generation to generation. Simple yet picturesque, folktales convey traditions, medicinal cures, customs, myths, values, and important stories passed down from generation to generation.

Please note that all folkloric titles mentioned in the following chapter are listed in Appendix I and II.

WHY USE FOLKTALES IN PROGRAMMING?

Folktales are educational entertainment.  Our elders knew that without enjoyment, people would be less likely to remember what is taught.  Retention has been enhanced for centuries through songs, melodic rhymes, rhythmic chants, and especially through repetition.  Stories were told over and over to teach a culture’s ethics, celebrate life, offer hope, bring cohesion to a tribe, and even to just pass the time.  Folktales were used to teach life lessons, humanize the past, pass on tribal history, affirm heritage, explain natural phenomena, ease fears about the unknown, explore new perspectives, and embrace unfamiliar ideas (Zuñiga 1992; Oring 2004).  Folktales cross barriers that might exist between culture, ethnicity, geography, and time, as well as the spiritual and philosophical worlds (Hearne 1999; Strong 2003).  Experiencing folklore enables the satisfaction of basic human needs: a desire to love and be loved, a sense of belonging and security, a desire for justice, a need to laugh.

As folklore became more complex and continued to develop, folktales were used to enhance religious practices, introduce darker spiritual figures such as witches, demons, and cryptozoids (e.g., la chupacabra and Bigfoot), and to celebrate heroes and heroines.  Geography, history, ecology, science, health, archeology, art, religion, agriculture, math, and many other subjects were taught and shared through folklore (Pedersen 1993; Smolen and Ortiz-Castro 2000).

Even today, both children and adults are able to learn outside of a textbook-driven, sterile educational system through well-chosen folktales.  Children, their caregivers, and educators can become engaged, motivated, and even entertained while listening to the tales of their own and other cultures.  On some level, the listener is able to experience the world of days gone by and to gain knowledge about people’s beliefs, values, and behaviors.  In addition, the more entertained the listener is, the more likely they are to remember what they have been told and to pass that knowledge on to someone else.  The hearing and retelling of folktales allows the listener’s language and literacy skills to successfully develop (Smolen and Ortiz-Castro 2000).

Active listening to folklore also aids the participants with their integration and implementation of crucial pre-literacy and literacy skills:  to discriminate, identify, and pronounce sounds (phonemic awareness), words (graphic awareness), and phrases (phonological awareness).  Folklore also enables participants to explore and strengthen a variety of language learning strategies such as identification of basic concepts, cross-curricular integration from other content areas, observation, imagery and symbolism, interpretation of facts vs. the identification of opinions, cause and effect, sequencing, comparing and contrasting of materials, brainstorming to explore related concepts, and problem solving (Pedersen 1993; Zuñiga 1992).

Folktales are shared through both oral and written storytelling, a performance art form based on sounds and action. The use of language and sounds combined with the voice and body allows a storyteller to share a uniquely crafted experience with the listener.  No two storytellers tell a tale alike; their personal tastes, experiences, perspectives, and cultures affect what is spoken.

When a folktale is shared through oral storytelling, the listener is naturally enabled to explore and imagine. There are no illustrations to limit or alter the listeners’ visions, nor are there words in print to limit what is said.  Rather the bones, or crucial basic elements, of a folktale are what can be embellished or expanded upon according to the desires of the storyteller to sculpt a tale (Hearne 2005).  The story bones may be gently adapted and improvised upon by the storyteller to fit the needs of the age group(s) listening to the tale, thereby allowing the tale to cross all age barriers and to meet the needs of a combined audience of children and adults, enabling the creation of an ideal family-oriented program (Hearne 1999; Hearne 2005).

Folktales, especially those appropriate for children, have been lovingly gathered by folklorists and carefully written down for other cultures to experience and learn from.  They have been part of children’s literature since the beginning of children’s publishing and continue to be an integral part of collection development in a library (Hearne July 1993). Accessing the print version of a folktale after it has been told, allows a child to re-access information and to revisit the world living in their memory over and over (Hearne July 1993).

The popularity of folktales has increased over the years; in fact the illustrated children’s book is perhaps the most well known genre of folktales today. Sensitive children’s, youth and school librarians are able to introduce children to the print form of diverse, multicultural tales that previously were only available to hear orally; stories heard around a fire, before bedtime, or at a time of celebration and gathering.  In doing so, librarians broaden the range of subjects and cultures that are typically presented to their patrons (Hamer 2000).  It is unlikely that folktales will ever be tested on as valuable core content in a curriculum, yet the need to share them, to help children to see that there is more than one way to do something, is vitally important regardless of whether it is test material or not.

Folktales from Latin America

Folktales considered Latino folklore originate from the Spanish/Castellan-speaking areas of South and Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and even the American Southwest where the U.S. – Mexico border has fluctuated over the years (Smolen and Ortiz-Castro 2000).  Aztec, Inca, Maya, Guaraní, Olmec, Taíno, Toltec, many other Central/South American indigenous tribes, and even Apache and Pueblo Indians folktales are all considered to be part of Latino folklore (Norton 2008).

Spain, too, has influenced Latino folklore through the tales left behind by Spanish adventurers, conquistadors, and slave traders as well as by the Moors, Romany, and Jews who fled Spain in order to find a life free of persecution.  Further enriching this multifaceted tradition, African cultural influences, due primarily to the slave trade, can also be found within Latino folklore (Raffaelli et al. 2005).

To our great misfortune, however, much of the indigenous tribal folklore that has been collected for today’s access has been received, and often indoctrinated or otherwise altered, by various sources.  Even when the preserver of the folktale was well intentioned, the tales we now have often have been influenced by empires, subcultures, conquerors, the writers of history, and even language barriers.  It is very difficult to find a folkloric tale from a pure source, especially when indigenous tribes such as the Inca, Maya, and Aztec have been decimated, assimilated, dispersed, or have otherwise disappeared (Strong, 2003).

When it is possible to verify the source of a folktale, it should be done.  Having just an author’s and illustrator’s name is insufficient.  In addition to such basic identifiers, the folktale must be placed in its proper cultural context. Librarians should ask: what culture is the tale from, who shared the tale, when was the tale written down, what was the context for the tale, and have any known adaptations been made to the folktale (Hearne August 1993).  Citing and respecting the source of a folktale are essential if a librarian is to provide culturally responsible programming (Hearne August 1993).

NORMALIZATION OF CULTURES THROUGH LATINO FOLKTALES

Children respond strongly to a welcoming, caring environment regardless of their background; feeling cared for will greatly alter a child’s performance, prompting academic accomplishments and increased effort as well as the growth of healthy interpersonal relationships.  In addition, children who participate with their families to celebrate their cultural traditions and background have been proven to have better childhood behavior, improved academic achievement, an improved sense of identity, and enhanced ability to adjust to varying circumstances (Fritz 2004).  Librarians can help to facilitate this participation by encouraging families to read folklore from their cultures, to celebrate their rituals, and to share their folklore with others.  Librarians will be remembered for many years to come by the children they served with kindness and gentleness: librarians who welcomed them, and accepted them.

Being able to accept and support Latino cultures and experiences is essential for a children’s librarian in today’s world.  Nearly one out of six residents in the United States, or approximately 46.9 million people, identify as Latino (U.S. Census 2008).  And while the majority of Latinos in the United States are Mexican or of Mexican descent, a librarian must be extremely careful to pay attention to the cultural diversity demographics within the Latino population they serve (Raffaelli et al. 2005), including whether a Latino is a long-term resident or a more recently-arrived immigrant.

Using folklore allows librarians to share the voice of cultures, especially of those who are unable to do so: the poor, the underrepresented, those without power (Oring 2004).  By acting as an advocate, the librarian is empowered to help to create a more humane and peaceful world through culturally responsive programming, thereby aiding in eliminating confusion and misunderstandings which can bring about friction and injustice.  To create this culturally responsive programming a librarian must be informed not just about Latino cultures, though this is important, but also about the world in which they live.  A librarian must consciously incorporate the understanding that all cultures are worthy of study and deserve respect into their bilingual programming.

UNIQUE NEEDS OF LATINO CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES

Librarians, too, must continue to educate themselves about their patrons’ cultures while taking time to discover, comprehend, and share their patrons’ stories within an appropriate cultural context (Oring 2004).  They must be vigilant to understand and carefully represent the cultural context of the folktale, remembering that their own personal context will influence how they hear and later share the folktale with their patrons (Hamer 2000; Hearne 2005).  Librarians should be vigilant in monitoring the demographics of the neighborhoods and patrons served by their library in order to best meet the needs of those patrons.  When working with Latino children, the librarian must remember that each Latino child has a unique history and special needs.

 

Stress Factors Influencing Social and Academic Functioning of Latino Children and Their Families

  • Inability to Relax: Recently-arrived Latino children may not be able to relax or feel fully at home in the U.S. for a long time. People in the United States dress differently, smell differently, eat differently, etc.
  • Feelings of Rejection: Latino children may feel lonely, vulnerable, and/or misunderstood by the dominant culture. This can lead to feelings of rejection and potential future problems such as academic failure, affiliation with gangs, dropping out of school, etc.
  • Resentment for Leaving Home Culture: Recently-arrived Latino children may not have wanted to leave their homeland, but may have been forced to for political, religious, or economic reasons. They also may want to move back to their homeland and cannot.
  • Wariness of the System: Latino children and their families may be the victims of oppression, famine, torture, murder, loss of central/extended family, or other atrocities of war, and subsequently they fear authority and have a lack of trust in the ‘system’.
  • Highly Educated? The parents of Latino children may have been highly educated or held professional standing in their own country, however once here in the United States their education is often viewed as being sub par.
  • A Lack of Education? The parents of Latino children may have been working class or poor, having little or no education.  If they can’t read or write in their own language, it will be all that more complicated to learn to speak, read, and write a new one.  (47% of Latinos who are first generation residents of the United States have parents who have had less than a high school education (Fry, 2009).)
  • Living in Poverty: Latino children may currently be living in poverty or facing other life complications. (34% of first generation Latino residents, 26% of second generation Latino residents and 24% of third generation Latino residents in the United States live in poverty (Fry, 2009).
  • ¿Habla Inglés? Latino children and their families may presently be learning English and/or Spanish. (43% of first generation, 21% of second generation, and 5% of third generation Latino residents are not fluent in English (Fry, 2009).
  1. just because a Latino can speak Spanish doesn’t necessarily mean they are able to read and write in Spanish.
  2. just because a Latino is from a country where Spanish is the first language doesn’t mean they speak Spanish.  There are hundreds of languages spoken in Latin America, only one of which is Spanish.
  • Communication Frustrations: Newly immigrated Latinos may be confused by tone of voice, gestures (nonverbal communication is often misunderstood), sarcasm, joking behavior toward them, physical distances between people, customs surrounding food or drink, or interacting with the opposite sex.
  1. Latinos, in general, speak softer than non-Latinos.
  2. Looking down is a sign of respect and is not necessarily a sign of a lack of focus.
  3. Hand gestures mean different things to different cultures.  A wave is often a way to say goodbye or ‘go away’ in the English-speaking cultures, for instance; a wave in Latino cultures, however, tends to be a request for a person to come closer.

Fig. 7.1 lists stressors which can influence Latino children’s ability to participate in folktale and other types of library programming.

Rather than reinforcing stereotypes or demanding cultural assimilation and/or the superiority of hegemony, folktales can help a Latino child to make sense of their world, thereby alleviating many stressors and normalizing experiences (Chappell and Faltis 2007; Hamer 2000).  Folktales help children to take complex abstract and concrete concepts and place them within a culture and context that is understandable to them.

Fortunately, folktales typically are of high interest to children, with lots of action and strong emotions such as humor, anger, and sadness.  They tend to be highly visual and descriptive, and start and end in familiar ways, thereby creating an atmosphere of magic and mystery which is outside of time.  Beginning and ending folktales in way that can be anticipated by Latino children helps to create a comfortable and secure environment for a child’s imagination and exploration in order to help the tale live on in their memory. Below are a few sayings that are useful for librarians sharing folktales with Spanish-speaking Latino children:

  • In a land far, far away… / En un país muy lejano
  • Once upon a time… / Había una vez
  • esto es verdad y no miento. / …and that’s the truth and I’m not lying.
  • y Colorín Colorado este cuento se ha acabado. / …snip, snap, snout this tale’s told out.

Folktales are also a perfect way for librarians to engage the families of Latino children.  Sharing folktales through text or storytelling is a way to form community, including both creating and sustaining that community (Hearne, 2005).  As Latinos often prefer to participate in groups, rather than individually, this style of programming would fit well into their cultural paradigm (Isom and Casteel 1997).  The only limiter on whether a tale is shared orally or through a book will be the size of the group, since text can be difficult to share well with a larger number of people unless electronics are introduced.

SELECTING FOLKTALES USING LATINO CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARDS

Finding the perfect folktale to share with Latino children and their families should not be a hard task for librarians. Book award lists routinely provide a convenient starting point for finding high-quality folktales to add to collections and use in library programming. Books winning the Américas Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature or the Pura Belpré Award often include rich folktales celebrating the diversity of the Latino cultures.

The Américas Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature is an annual award from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee which honors books that written in English or Spanish that authentically portray Latino culture (MW-Milwaukee, 2009).  Each year there is generally one or more folktales represented in the list of award winners. In 2009 these folklore and folklore-esque titles were recognized:

  • Yuyi Morales’ won for her folklore-esque title, Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book.
  • Julia Alvarez received an honorable mention for The Best Gift of All: The Legend of La Vieja Belén/El mejor regalo del mundo: La leyenda de la Vieja Belén.
  • Joe Hayes received a commendation for Baila, Nana, Baila/Dance, Nana, Dance: Cuban Folktales in English and Spanish.

The Pura Belpré Award is given to a Latino or Latina children’s author and illustrator whose work best celebrates the Latino cultural experience (ALA/ALSC, 2009).  Folklore and folklore-esque books that have won the Belpré in the past are:

  • 2009: Yuyi Morales received the medal for her illustrations and was honored for her writing in her folklore-esque title, Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book
  • 2008: Carmen Agra Deedy was honored for her writing in Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale
  • 2006: Raul Colón’s illustrations in Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Big Heart won the medal, and Pat Mora was honored for her narrative in the book.
  • 2006: Lulu Delacre’s Arrorró, Mi Niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games was honored for her illustrations.
  • · 2004: Yuyi Morales won the medal for best illustration for Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book.
  • · 2002: Joe Cepeda was honored for his illustrations in Marisa Montes’ Juan Bobo Goes to Work.
  • · 2000: Carmen Lomas Garza received the medal for her illustrations in Magic Windows.
  • · 2000: Felipe Dávalos was honored for his illustrations in the folklore-esque title, The Secret Stars written by Joseph Slate.
  • · 1998: Enrique Sánchez was honored for his illustrations in The Golden Flower: A Taino Myth from Puerto Rico written by Nina Jaffe.
  • 1996: Lucía González was honored for her writing and Lulu Delacre was honored for her illustrations in The Bossy Gallito/El gallo de bodas: A Traditional Cuban Folktale

SABORS OF FOLKLORIC STORYTELLING

It might be daunting at first to think about incorporating storytelling into programming.  However, as an encouragement, the folkloric tale doesn’t necessarily have to be memorized (Hearne 2005).  Apprehension about misrepresenting a folktale or forgetting the words might impede the power of a memorized story, but if a librarian finds that he or she is hindered by such apprehension, illustrated books, short stories, and other tales can be read to an audience just as a performer would read a tale in reader’s theatre.  Good librarianship and instruction is about telling the story; sharing stories enables group cohesiveness and the ability to form community within a library setting (Hearne 2005).

Upon delving into the world of Latino folklore, a librarian will find that there are two broad categories of folklore:  cuentos and mitosCuentos are religious tales, magical tales, romantic tales, trickster tales, cumulative tales, and scary tales.  Mitos are tales that explain why things happen or how things came about, otherwise known as pourquoi tales; they take place in a time long past.

Throughout Latino folklore, certain Latino core values are demonstrated.  Core values, such as espiritualismo, familismo, fatalismo, and harmonia, are unique identifiers that resonate across most, if not all, Latino cultures.  These four core values – espiritualismo, familismo, fatalismo , and harmonia – will be discussed at further length below.

Religious Tales / Cuentos Religiosos

When religious beliefs and faith intermix and infuse folktales in the quest to find meaning and patterns in all that is said and done, the outcome is referred to as espiritualismoEspiritualismo is when religion is unable to be separated from everyday life: what is experienced by the mind is also experienced by the body, and what is real and what is unreal blend together in everyday life.  Miracles happen and are anticipated and expected.  The imaginary line between the natural world and the supernatural world is blurred.  Religious tales, in particular, embrace the core value of Latino espiritualismo.  Folktales about how the world was made, the great flood, the afterlife, and religious icons or saints all are considered to be examples of religious tales. For instance, Nina Jaffe’s The Golden Flower: A Taino Myth from Puerto Rico / Flor de oro: un mito taíno de Puerto Rico describes how the seas and all that is within them were formed by the smashing of a pumpkin from a mountaintop.

Almost every culture appears to have tales about a great worldwide flood.  Peru’s tale is retold by Ellen Alexander in The Llama and the Great Flood: A Folktale from Peru. The llama was a sacred animal to the Incans (Strong 2003); llamas not only were used to travel to the underworld but were symbols of life and harvest as well.  The llama in this tale saves his master and the master’s family by warning them about the flood that is to come so that they are able to escape to the top of a mountain and wait out the flood.  Venezuela’s version of the worldwide flood is told in Maria Elena Maggi’s The Great Canoe: A Karina Legend where Kaputano plays the role of Noah, saving four couples, numerous pairs of animals, and seeds from destruction.

Folktales commonly explore death and the afterlife, sharing what is viewed as mystical and adding flavor to the tale (Hearne 2009).  In her folktale Mother Scorpion Country/La tierra de madre escorpión, Harriet Roehmer shares a traditional folktale of the Miskito tribe of Central America (Nicaragua/Honduras regions).  Kati, the much loved wife of Naklili has just died.  Naklili desires to be buried with her and join her in her travels to the land of death; yet while there, Naklili is unable to share in the joys of the land as he is still living.

Below are a few other examples of Cuentos Religiosos which describe miracles, religious icons, and saints. Fig. 7.2 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to religious cuentos or folktales embodying espiritualismo.

  • Tomie dePaola’s Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe/Our Lady of Guadalupe honors one of the most well known Mexican icons, the Virgin of Guadalupe, by retelling the story of her appearance to a poor Mexican farmer and the sign she left behind on the farmer’s clothing in 1531.
  • Spirit Child:  A Story of the Nativity is a phenomenal Mexican folktale about Jesus’ birth composed originally in the Aztec language by Fray Bernadino de Sahagun and unnamed Aztec poets and musicians during the early 1500s.  It was originally performed as a rhythmic chant to the accompaniment of toned drums in Mexico City.  Fortunately John Bierhorst re-discovered the folktale and has re-published it with the beautiful illustrations of Barbara Cooney.
  • Dorothy Sharp Carter’s “The Purchased Miracle,” from The Enchanted Orchard: And Other Folktales of Central America, is a tale from Honduras of a wealthy gentleman who felt that those went on pilgrimages in search of miracles were mad or too lazy to work.  Because of his disbelief, Don Juan became blind.  His family and friends told him to go on a healing pilgrimage, and out of desperation he went.  A miracle happened and he was healed.  However, instead of crediting the miracle, Don Juan acknowledged luck.  Almost immediately, Don Juan became blind again.
 

PROGRAMMING IDEA – papel picados

Papel Picados are literally ‘pecked paper’, tissue paper rectangles that are cut in ways similar to paper snowflakes created at Christmastime.  Latinos use papel picados to decorate during times of celebration and religious festivals.  Each rectangle is then strung on a piece of string to make a colorful banner; the more banners that are strung, the more festive the atmosphere.

The following books are additional programming title suggestions.  Note that some of these titles (marked with an *) are not true, pure folklore, but rather tales that incorporate folkloric themes and iconic characters:

  • Alvarez, Julia.  The Best Gift of All: The Legend of La Vieja Belén / El Mejor Regalo del Mundo: La Leyenda de la Vieja Belén
  • dePaola, Tomie.  The Night of Las Posadas
  • Garza, Carmen Lopez.  Magic Windows / Ventanas mágicas
  • *Garza, Carmen Lopez.  Making Magic Windows:  Creating Cut-Paper Art with Carmen Lomas Garza
  • Oppenheim, Joanne.  The Miracle of the First Poinsettia
  • Robbins, Sandra.  The Firefly Star: A Hispanic Folktale
  • *Shahan, Sherry.  Fiesta!
  • Slate, Joseph.  The Secret Stars

Fig. 7.2 Example of a programming idea with recommended books related to religious cuentos or folktales embodying espiritualismo.

Magical Tales/Cuentos Mágicos

Magical tales, like religious tales, often incorporate concepts of espiritualismo, especially where the boundaries between what is real and what is imaginary are blurred through the genre of magical realism. The concept of magical realism, perhaps best demonstrated by authors Gabriel Garcia Marquez of Colombia, Julio Cortázar of Argentina, Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru, and Carlos Fuentes of Mexico, merges magical, spiritual, and even illogical elements into an everyday scenarios, thereby revealing the magic that is in our world.

Julia Alvarez’ folktale from the Dominican Republic tells of a secret tribe, the Ciguapas, who live under the ocean and are able to keep themselves secret from the rest of the world because their feet face backwards, rather than forwards. Thus, in The Secret Footsteps /Las huellas secretas, the footprints left behind by the tribe always appear to be heading towards the water even though, in truth, the tribe is coming up from under the water.

Keith Polette’s colorfully illustrated, Latino-flavored Jack tale, Paco and the Giant Chile Plant/Paco y la planta de chile gigante, retells the Jack and the Beanstalk story through the eyes and experiences of Paco. In a library program it would be interesting to pair this title with another Jack and the Beanstalk tale in order to compare and contrast the cultures and the characters’ experiences.

Caroline Pitcher’s Mariana and the Merchild: A Folk Tale from Chile is reminiscent of the selkie tales of Ireland. La vieja Mariana discovers a merbaby on the beach after a horrible storm.  She is asked by the baby’s mother to care for the merchild.  The villagers initially are greatly frightened by the merchild, but as time passes they adapt and overcome their fears.  When the merbaby’s mother comes to reclaim her babe, it is the village children who comfort Mariana for her loss. A book for older children with many of the same elements is Milagros: Girl From Away by Meg Medina. Although the book is too long to be read-aloud or told, older children could tell portions of the story or share the espiritualismo and magical realism elements with their family. Fig. 7.3 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to magical realism in folktales embodying espiritualismo.

 

PROGRAMMING IDEA – tin ornaments

Tin ornaments are a decorative craft performed by artisans throughout Latin America.  The tin may be cut into a variety of shapes and sizes, including those of magical creatures.  Simple tools, such as scissors, pencil, and stained glass paints and/or markers, are used to create the colorful, decorative hangings.

The following books are additional programming title suggestions.  Note that some of these titles (marked with an *) are not pure folklore, but rather contain other concepts as well:

  • Delacre, Lulu.  De oro y esmeraldas: mitos, leyendas y cuentos populares de latinoamérica / Golden Tales:  Myths, Legends, and Folktales from Latin America
  • Mora, Pat.  Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman With a Big Heart / Doña Flor: un cuento de un mujer gigante con un gran corazón
  • *Pavón, Ana-Elba.  25 Latino Craft Projects: Celebrating Culture in Your Library
  • VanLaan, Nancy.  The Magic Bean Tree: A Legend from Argentina

Fig. 7.3 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to magical realism in folktales embodying espiritualismo.

Romantic Tales/Cuentos Románticos

The Latino core value of familismo is repeatedly demonstrated throughout romantic folktales. Familismo is simply defined ‘family first’. It is the collective loyalty to an extended family that outranks the needs of the individual. When a family member has a need, whether great or small, the individual will drop everything immediately to help them. The obedience of a daughter to her father, a son disregarding his mother’s advice, and disaster ensuing when pride exceeds all other concerns or when familial advice is not heeded, are all examples of situations and outcomes that are explored through romantic folklore.

Cuban storyteller and writer, Carmen Agra Deedy has written a Cuento Romántico in her version of the well-known Latin American folktale Martina and Perez entitled Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale/Martina una cucarachita muy linda: un cuento Cubano. In this rambunctious tale, Martina has decided that she is going to marry, and her abuela suggests how she should go about finding a husband. Unfortunately, Martina is quite fickle and suitor after suitor fails to impress her until she meets her one true-love. A superb audio version of the tale, performed by Deedy, is available and sure to delight audiences of both Latino and non-Latino children and families.

Jacaltec Mayan author Victor Montejo sets the traditional Spanish tale of Blanca Flor into a Mayan setting in his Blanca Flor: una princesa maya /White Flower: A Maya Princess, which tells of a young prince who has lost his memory.  The prince must complete several impossible tasks set for him by the Lord of the Forest. In doing so, the prince falls in love with Blanca Flor, but the Lord of the Forest, Blanca Flor’s father, demands they stay apart from each other.  Rather than obey her father, Blanca Flor helps the prince to successfully finish his tasks through her magic and wit so that they may marry. Fig. 7.4 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to familismo and romantic tales.

PROGRAMMING IDEA – tissue paper flowers / duct tape roses 

Flowers are colorful symbols of romance – make flowers for the ones you love and similar to those illustrated in these romantic tales.

  • Tissue paper flowers are literally just that, flowers made out of tissue paper.
  • Layer 4-5 sheets of tissue paper on top of each other, make sure that the tissues are rectangular in shape (not square)
  • Starting with the longest side, accordion fold the layered tissue paper
  • Once folded, accordion-style, attach the middle of the tissue paper to a green wooden floral stem with green masking tape
  • Slowly and gently separate each layer

Roses made out of colored duct tape will have teens clamoring for more.

  • Tear pieces of duct tape
  • Fold down two corners (on the same side) of each piece
  • Wrap the pieces around a green wooden floral stem.
  • Keep wrapping the folded squares around the stem until you have the size of flower desired.

The following books are additional programming title suggestions.  Note that some of these titles (marked with an *) are not pure folklore, but rather contain other concepts as well:

  • Gerson, Mary-Joan.  Fiesta Femenina: Celebrating Women in Mexican Folktale / Fiesta femenina: homenaje a las mujeres a través de historias tradicionales mexicanas
  • González, Lucía. Señor Cat’s Romance and Other Favorite Stories from Latin America
  • *Perl, Lila.  Piñatas and Paper Flowers:  Holidays of the Americas in English and Spanish / Piñatas y flores de papel: fiestas de las Américas en ingles y español

Fig. 7.4 provides two examples of programming ideas with recommended books related to familismo and romantic tales.

Trickster Tales/Cuentos de Astucia

What is going to happen will happen, especially when there is a trickster involved.  Fatalismo is the belief that man cannot control his destiny, as a person’s destiny is determined by God’s will and other unknown variables.  Fatalismo is a core value within the Latino culture that is repeatedly explored within trickster tales, where individuals can do little or nothing to alter their fate.

Tricksters are specialists in manipulating scenarios to get what they want, often through cleverness.  Tricksters, too, can be shown to take that which is bad or evil and remove it, often by taking the trouble upon themselves in order to save the greater good (Strong, 2003).  The suspense of whether the trickster is going to be selfish or caring, as well as the humor surrounding the trickster, is what is so irresistibly intriguing in Latino folktales.

Pat Mora’s La carerra de sapo y venado/The Race of Toad and Deer is a retelling of a Guatemalan trickster folktale. A race is arranged between Toad and Deer.  Deer, the strongest runner in the jungle, always wins – yet this time Toad’s friends trick Deer into running as hard as he can the entire race.  In his zeal, Deer is unable to finish, and falls exhausted to the ground while Toad hops on by to win.

Jabutí the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon is a story of the consummate trickster.  Jabutí has tricked everyone, yet he is about to meet his match.  Vulture is jealous of Jabutí because of the music Jabutí is able to play, whereas Vulture cannot sing but a note.  It is only the intervention of the King of Heaven that saves Jabutí from Vulture’s trap.

Love and Roast Chicken: A Trickster Tale from the Andes Mountains/Amor y pollo asado: un cuento de estafadores de enredos y engaños is another folktale where the trickster is tricked. Fox wants to eat Cuy, a spunky guinea pig, yet Cuy outsmarts the trickster Fox over and over.  To enhance the flavor of the tale, not only does Barbara Knutson incorporate both English and Spanish into the text, but she adds Quechua (typically spoken in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru), as well. Fig. 7.5 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to fatalismo and trickster tales.

PROGRAMMING IDEA – alebrijes 

Alebrijes is a wooden art form associated with Oaxaca, Mexico.  Animalistic body parts are mixed and matched to create a fantastical, imaginary creature much like those seen in the illustrations of Jabutí and ABeCedarios: Mexican Folk Art ABCs in English and Spanish.  Insulation panels, such as Foamular, can be cut with plastic knives, shaped and sculpted with sticks, toothpicks, wooden dowels, and glue guns, and then painted with acrylic paints to form fantastic, imaginary three-dimensional shapes.

The following books are additional programming title suggestions.  Note that some of these titles (marked with an *) are not true, pure folklore, but rather tales that incorporate folkloric themes and iconic characters:

  • Loya, Olga.  “The Monkey and the Crocodile / El mono y el cocodrilo”, “Opossum and Coyote / La zarigüena y el coyote”, “The Alligator and the Dog / El perro y el caiman”, and “Uncle Rabbit and Uncle Tiger / El tío Conejo y el tío Tigre” from Momentos mágicos / Magic Moments:  Tales from Latin America
  • *Morales, Yuyi.  Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book
  • *Morales, Yuyi.  Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book
  • *Weill, Cynthia.  ABeCedarios: Mexican Folk Art ABCs in English and Spanish
  • *Weill, Cynthia.  Opuestos:  Mexican Folk Art Opposites in English and Spanish

Fig. 7.5 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to fatalismo and trickster tales.

Cumulative Tales/Cuentos Cumulativos

Latinos live in a nuanced world that has many layers of meaning, yet these layers are all interconnected.  Conversations are non-linear, tangential.  Themes are less defined; story topics blend.  Folktales allow multiple subjects to be presented and shared at once through association or  harmoniaHarmonia, another core value within Latino culture, exists where the emotional, physical, and social facets of an individual are in balance, in harmony.  Latino culture is unlike Western culture, which is very black and white in thought and conversation. For instance, it is common in Western cultural conversations to make ‘either’ and ‘or’ statements, whereas in Latino culture the conjunctions used tend to be ‘and’ and ‘but,’ allowing more flexibility and emphasizing the underlying assumption that things are rarely black and white, but grey.  Living in the ‘grey’ is living in harmonia.  Because of this flexibility, Latino folklore might be viewed by those culturally unfamiliar with it as rambling, over-emotional, repetitious, contradictory, and even impossible.  Getting ‘to the point’ takes a while as stories tend to unfold in a circuitous fashion; going directly ‘to the point’ is often lauded in Western culture, but viewed as rude or dishonorable by Latinos.

Cumulative tales contain themes or experiences that continue throughout the tale.  Each cumulative tale is connected from start to end; as the same thread continues throughout a tale, however the characters often have difficulty reaching the end.  It is this very lack of productivity that makes cumulative folklore some of the most humorous to experience.

Marisa Montes’ Juan Bobo Goes to Work: A Puerto Rican Folktale/Juan Bobo busca trabajo: Un cuento Puertorriqueño is a typical Jack tale that is cumulative and full of humor, misunderstandings, and giggles. Poor Juan’s misadventures abound as he tries to get a job, but every single thing that can go wrong does go wrong.  Yet somehow, against all odds and very unexpectedly, Juan triumphs.

Margaret Read MacDonald’s tale, A Hen, a Chick, and a String Guitar: Inspired by a Chilean Folktale/Algarabia en la granja is a folktale that should be sung through chant.  Full of animal sounds, it tells the story of a little boy who receives the gift of a chicken from his grandma.  Day after day, two by two, new animals keep arriving until the little boy has sixteen pets.

In Margaret Read MacDonald’s Conejito: A Folktale from Panama, Conejito is trying to get to his Tía Mónica’s house on the other side of the mountain.  Yet to get there he has to pass many obstacles, namely Sr. Fox, Sr. Tiger, and Sr. Lion. Poor Conejito!  All he wants is to eat Tía’s treats and all the Señores want to do is eat Conejito! Fig. 7.6 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to harmonia and cumulative tales.

PROGRAMMING IDEA – felted animals and art 

South America is known for the fiber of its llamas, vicuñas, guanacos, and alpacas.  As the majority of the indigenous tribes around the Andes Mountains incorporate this fiber into their products, making felted animals and art would be a perfect artistic experience to link conversation between folktales and culture.

The following books are suggestions for ideas and how to felt.

  • Heckman, Andrea.  Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals
  • Horvath, Marie-Noelle.  Little Felted Animals: Create 16 Irresistible Creatures with Simple Needle-Felting Techniques
  • Sharp, Laurie.  Wool Pets: Making 20 Figures with Wool Roving and a Barbed Needle
  • Thompson, Angela.  Textiles of Central and South America

The following books are additional programming title suggestions.  Note that some of these titles (marked with an *) are not true, pure folklore, but rather tales that incorporate folkloric themes and iconic characters:

  • Ada, Alma Flor.  Mamá Goose:  A Latino Treasury / Mamá Goose:  un tesoro de rimas infantiles
  • Ada, Alma Flor.  Pio Peep!  Rimas tradiciones en español / Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes with CD
  • Hayes, Joe.  Tell me a Cuento / Cuéntame un Story
  • Orozco, Jose-Luis.  De colores and Other Latin American Folksongs for Children

Fig. 7.6 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to harmonia and cumulative tales.

Scary Tales/Cuentos de Miedo

Teens are often overlooked in programming.  Yet, some of the most powerful and meaningful programming that can be done for teens will scare the pants off of them. Teens adore having chills sent up and down their spines; folklore enables that to happen.

Few would disagree that being a teenager is a difficult time.  However, in addition to what is experienced by monocultural teens, Latino teens have to adapt to the changes that are happening in their lives while simultaneously deciding whether to reflect different aspects of their heritage while meeting societal expectations and combating stereotypes (Northrup and Bean 2007). What better way to appease the teens while honoring their cultural background than through scary Latino folktales?

It is easy to fear and to project fears into that which is not seen, the unknown, the disgusting.  The mutation of that which is human with that which is beast, such as la chupacabra, la cegua, or el cucuy, allows Latino teens to explore what it is to be human by contrasting it with an abnormality (Chappell and Faltis 2006). Tensions that occur within the real world, the desire to disobey those in authority, the feelings of being misunderstood, the overwhelming sense of rage which occurs randomly in the daily life of a teen, all may be explored from a safe distance through that which is supernatural or hybridized.

However, limiting the use of scary tales to just teen programming would be a great loss to the younger child.  Even early elementary-aged children, when asked, will say that they like to be scared.  The level of fear experienced by a child will have to be determined by the librarian; it is a simple matter to tone the fear factor of the tale back a bit for the littles.  Thus, I say, don’t be afraid – scare them all!!!

La Llorona

The folktale about La Llorona has been told and retold for generations throughout Latin America; it is so old that the source of the tale is lost to present-day storytellers.  Pretty much every Latino, adult and child, has either personally seen La Llorona, heard her cries, or knows someone who claims they have.  The tale of La Llorona begins as a Cinderella story: a poor woman meets a handsome rich man who falls in love with her and takes her away from her troubles to marry her.  They are very happy and have two children.  Yet, their joy is short-lived; the man finds a new younger, rich woman and goes off to marry her, leaving his first family behind and unacknowledged.  Overcome by madness, the jilted wife takes her two children down to the river and drowns them.  Now and forevermore, La Llorona is destined to walk along the riverside calling out for the souls of her children, los chaneques, “Ay, mis hijos, Ay, mis hijos”, deeply regretful for her actions.  La Llorona is never reunited with her children, but at times los chaneques can be seen or heard playing with other children along the river, or so say los ancianos.  Joe Hayes’, La Llorona / The Weeping Woman: A Hispanic Legend is a fantastic retelling of the classic La Llorona tale. John Bierhorst has edited a book, The Hungry Woman:  Myths and Legends of the Aztecs, which contains three additional weeping woman tales.  These tales aren’t illustrated; they would add to the fullness of a scary tale program, however, offering other sabores on the La Llorona folktale.

El Cucuy

El Cucuy is also a well known folkloric character throughout Latin America.  Sometimes spoken of as El Cucó, El Cucuy is equivalent to the North American boogeyman that hides in closets and under beds in order to catch children who are malcriados, badly behaved, and refuse to obey their parents.  Parents tell their children, “You better be good or I’ll call El Cucuy to come and take you away.” When El Cucuy hears a parent calling his name or the disobedient, disrespectful voices of children through his enormous ear, El Cucuy comes for the horrible children and takes them away, deep into his mountain, never to be seen again.

In Hayes’ tale, the two elder daughters who are taken to El Cucuy’s lair are saved by a herder in the mountains and returned to their father and younger sister, who have never stopped looking for them all the time they were with El Cucuy.  The two returned daughters are never disrespectful again.  Joe Hayes’ El Cucuy: A Boogeyman Cuento in English and Spanish is a wonderful title to use to share this tale.

La Chupacabra

La chupacabra is another classic Latino cryptozoid figure used to elicit fear and to explain that which is unexplainable.  La chupacabra or the “goat sucker” is a creature that comes out when the moon is full and lives in the middle of the desert or open plains, far from established populations.  La chupacabra survives by sucking the blood out of unprepared animals, including distracted humans who happen to cross their path.

The grandfather in Xavier Garza’s bilingual book Juan and the Chupacabras/Juan y el chupacabras tells the tale of the chupacabra to his grandchildren.  Luz and Juan are unsure as to whether to believe their abuelo’s stories, so they arm themselves with different household items they believe will protect them from the chupacabra’s attack.  Garza, also, in his short story collection, Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys, tells of how Lupe and Leo’s dog saves them from the attack of ‘Los Chupacabras”.

The following books are additional scary programming title suggestions.  Note that some of these titles (marked with an *) are not true, pure folklore, but rather tales that incorporate folkloric themes and iconic characters. Fig. 7.7 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to other scary tales.

  • *Anaya, Rudolfo Curse of the Chupacabra
  • Belting, Natalia.  “Ghosts and Souls” a poem from The Moon Was Tired of Walking on Air:  Origin Myths of South American Indians
  • Carter, Dorothy Sharp.  “The Cegua” from The Enchanted Orchard:  And Other Folktales of Central America
  • Loya, Olga.  “The Flying Skeleton / El esqueleto volador”, “La Llorona”, “La madrina muerte / Godmother Death”, “The Rooster’s Claw / La pata de gallo” from Momentos mágicos / Magic Moments:  Tales from Latin America
PROGRAMMING IDEA – sugar skulls 

Every year, Latinos celebrate the Day of the Dead / El Día de los Muertos between October 31st and culminating November 2nd.  It is taught that during this time, once a year, the deceased are able to return to the land of the living, to keep company with their loved ones, and to enjoy the ordinary pleasures of life – food, smells, movements, emotions, etc.  As a way of honoring this traditional belief, families go to tend the grave sites of their family.  They bring food and drinks to eat at the graves, songs are sung, instruments are played, and memories are shared.  Thus, the folklore of each family is passed on to the next generation and those that have died are not forgotten.

Sugar skulls are easy to make, though they do take some time.

RECIPE:

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon meringue powder

1 teaspoon water

  • Crunch ingredients in a bowl with your hands until the sugar starts to feel light and fluffy, then push mixture into molds
  • If you have a mold that has multiple skulls on it, I would recommend doing one skull at a time rather than all the skulls at once
  • Let sit for ten minutes in the mold
  • Take skull out of mold by flipping it onto a piece of cardboard
  • Let skulls harden completely on cardboard before storing them
    • NOTE:  sugar skulls have difficulty hardening when it is humid or rainy outside.
    • Put molds into cardboard boxes for storage
      • NOTE:  do not use plastic containers to contain molds, the skulls will fall apart
      • Decorate skulls with frosting or as desired

The following books are additional programming title suggestions.  Note that some of these titles (marked with an *) are not true, pure folklore, but rather tales that incorporate folkloric themes and iconic characters:

  • *Arquette, Kerry et al.  Day of the Dead Crafts: More than 24 Projects
  • Gladino, Claudia. Do You Know the Cucuy?/¿Conoces al Cucuy?
  • González , Ada Acosta. Mayte and the Bogeyman/Mayte y el cuco
  • *Keep, Richard.  Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration
  • Perales, Alonso M.  Brujas, lechuzas y espantos/Witches, Owls and Spooks
  • *San Vicente, Luis.  Festival of Bones/El festival de las calaveras: The Little-Bitty Book for the Day of the Dead
  • *Winter, Jeanette.  Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book

Fig. 7.7 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to other scary tales.

Pourquoi Myths / Mitos

Why does it rain?  Where did our food come from?  Why is there a moon in the sky?  Why do certain animals only come out at night and not during the day?  Why? Why? Why?  Toddlers are notorious for their Why? questions, however they are not the only ones that are curious.  Asking why is a form of learning that was encouraged by the elders.  Pourquoi myths or mitos are a tale type that was specifically created to answer questions, to educate, and to set minds at ease.

Alma Flor Ada’s Mediopollito/Half-Chicken, for instance, explains how the weather vane came into existence. Lois Ehlert’s Moon Rope/Un lazo a la luna: A Peruvian Folktale shares the Peruvian version of why moles only comes out at nighttime. Ehlert’s Cuckoo/Cucú: A Mexican Folktale tells why the cuckoo has a dry, raspy cry and cannot sing.

The following books are additional programming title suggestions.  Note that some of these titles (marked with an *) are not true, pure folklore, but rather tales that incorporate folkloric themes and iconic characters. Fig. 7.8 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to other mitos.

  • Belting, Natalia.  The Moon Was Tired of Walking on Air:  Origin Myths of South American Indians
  • Brusca, Maria Cristina.  When Jaguars Ate the Moon and Other Stories about Animals and Plants of the Américas
  • McDermott, Gerald.  Musicians of the Sun
  • McManus, Kay.  Land of the Five Suns: Looking at Aztec Myths and Legends
  • Mohr, Nicholasa.  La canción del coquí y otros cuentos de Puerto Rico / The Song of el Coquí and Other Tales of Puerto Rico
PROGRAMMING IDEA – salt dough creations 

Salt dough is used throughout Latin America to create colorful figures and decorative ornaments.  Salt dough is very versatile, long lasting, and easy to make.  Pourquoi myths may be re-enacted or displayed through a child’s salt dough creations.

RECIPE

1 cup salt

1 ¼ cup water (dissolve salt in water before adding flour)

3 cups flour

  • Dissolve salt in water prior to adding the flour one cup at a time
  • Mix until doughy consistency
  • Shape as desired and let harden
  • Bake at 200°
  • Paint with acrylics
  • Shellac item for protection and longevity

Fig. 7.8 provides an example of a programming idea with recommended books related to other mitos.

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS FOR PROGRAMMING

Sometimes there can never be enough of a good thing.  Below, Fig. 7.9 lists supplementary programming ideas along with corresponding Latino folklore/folkloric literature.

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING SUGGESTIONS FOR FOLKLORE 

Become Cultural Ambassadors

  • learn about a different country and share
  • empower patrons to come and tell their own stories from their own cultures
  • explore multiculturalism

Celebrate Different Latino Holidays

  • January 1st Happy New Year/Feliz Año Nuevo
  • January 6th Day of the Three Kings/Día de los Tres Reyes
  • February 14th Valentine’s Day/Día de San Valintín
  • Holy Week/Semana Santa and Carnaval
  • Easter/Pascua
  • April 30th Day of the Child / Día del Niño
  • This holiday has been adapted by ALA to become Day of the Book-Day of the Child/Día del Libro – Día del Niño
  • October 31st – November 2nd (especially November 2nd) Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos
  • December 16th – 24th Las Posadas
  • December 24th Christmas Eve/La Nochebuena
  • December 25th Christmas/Navidad

Make Footprints in Plaster

  • Alvarez, Julia.  The Secret Footsteps/Las huellas secretas

Make a Mosaic of the Nighttime Sky / The Milky Way

  • Mora, Pat.  The Night the Moon Fell: A Maya Myth Retold / La noche que cayó la luna: mita maya

Make a Rain Stick

  • Belting, Natalia.  “Daughter of Rain” from The Moon Was Tired of Walking on Air:  Origin Myths of South American Indians
  • Wisniewski, David.  Rain Player

Make Tortillas

  • Anaya, Rudolfo.  The First Tortilla:  A Bilingual Story
  • Griego, Margot.  Tortillitas para Mamá and Other Nursery Rhymes
  • Hayes, Joe.  The Day It Snowed Tortillas / El dia que nevo tortillas

Make a Volcano

  • Arguenta, Mario.  Magic Dogs of the Volcanoes / Los perros mágicos de los volcanes

Plant Seedlings

  • Polette, Keith.  Paco and the Giant Chile Plant / Paco y la planta de chile gigante
  • VanLaan, Nancy.  The Magic Bean Tree: A Legend from Argentina

Fig 7.9 presents a list of some suggestions for incorporating folklore into everyday programming

FINALLY, AN ENCOURAGEMENT

As children’s, teen, and school librarians it is our responsibility to incorporate multiculturalism into our programming.  Folktales are an ideal programming tool to promote cultural awareness, diversity, normalization, and compassion.  It is through these stories that we learn about people: who they are, what they are, where they come from, when they lived, why they believe what they do, and how they are as they are.   As librarians, we are able to engage families through sharing folktales by way of written tales and oral storytelling, thereby forming a healthy, accepting community within the borders of the library – a community that may positively alter a child’s life forever. 

REFERENCES

American Library Association (ALA), “Day of the Book-Day of the Child/Día del Libro – Día del Niño, http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/initiatives/diadelosninos/index.cfm

(cited December 20, 2009).

American Library Association (ALA)/Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC), “The Pura Belpré Award,” http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/belpremedal/belpreabout/index.cfm (cited December 20, 2009).

Chappell, Sharon and Christian Faltis. “Spanglish, Bilingualism, Culture, and Identity in Latino Children’s Literature.” Children’s Literature in Education 38, no. 4 (December 2007):

253-262.

Dendle, Peter. “Cryptozoology in the Medieval and Modern Worlds.” Folklore 117, no. 2 (August 2006): 190-206.

Fritz, Gregory K. “Children and Adults Need Family Traditions.” Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter 20, no. 1 (January 2004): 8.

Fry, Richard. “Latino Children: A Majority Are U.S.-Born Offspring of Immigrants”. Pew Hispanic Center, 2009.  http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/110.pdf (cited December 20,

2009).

Hamer, Lynne. “Folklore in Schools and Multicultural Education.” Journal of American Folklore 113, no. 447 (Winter 2000): 44.

Hearne, Betsy. “Cite the Source.” School Library Journal 39, no.7 (July 1993): 22-27.

Hearne, Betsy. “The Bones of Story.” Horn Book Magazine 81, no. 1 (January 2005): 39-47.

Hearne, Betsy. “Introduction.” Library Trends 47, no. 3 (Winter 1999): 341-345.

Hearne, Betsy. “Nobody Knows…” Horn Book Magazine 85, no. 5 (September 2009): 457-462.

Hearne, Betsy. “Once There Was and Will Be: Storytelling the Future.” Horn Book Magazine 76, no. 6 (November/December 2000): 712-719.

Hearne, Betsy. “Respect the Source.” School Library Journal 39, no. 8 (August 1993): 33-37.

Hearne, Betsy. “Swapping Tales and Stealing Stories: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Folklore in Children’s Literature.”  Library Trends 47, no. 3 (Winter 1999): 509-528.

Isom, Bess A. and Carolyn P. Casteel. “Hispanic Literature: A Fiesta for Literacy Instruction.” Childhood Education 74, no. 2 (1997): 83-89.

MW-Milwaukee: Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, “Américas Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature,” http://www4.uwm.edu/clacs/aa/index.cfm (cited December 20, 2009).

Northrup, Jason C. and Roy A. Bean. “Culturally Competent Family Therapy with Latino/Anglo-American Adolescents: Facilitating Identity Formation.” American Journal of Family

Therapy 35, no. 3 (May 2007): 251-263.

Norton, Donna E. Multicultural Children’s Literature: Through the Eyes of Many Children, 3rd ed. New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall, 2008.

Oring, Elliott. “Folklore and Advocacy.” Journal of Folklore Research 41, no. 2/3 (May 2004): 259-267.

Pedersen, E. Martin. “Folklore in ESL/EFL.” Curriculum Materials. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (1993): 1-10.

Raffaelli, Marcela, Gustavo Carlo, Miguel A. Carranza, Gloria E. Gonzales-Kruger. “Understanding Latino Children and Adolescents in the Mainstream: Placing Culture at

the Center of Developmental Models.” New Directions for Child & Adolescent Development 2005, no. 109 (Fall 2005): 23-32.

Smolen, Lynn Atkinson and Victoria Ortiz-Castro. “Dissolving Borders and Broadening Perspectives through Latino Traditional Literature.” Reading Teacher 53, no. 7 (April

2000): 566-578.

Strong, Mary. “Powers Within: Artists and Anthropologists Work Together to Create Andean Mythic Beasts and Elements of Nature in Their Own Image.” Visual Anthropology 16,

no. 2/3 (April 2003): 117-158.

U.S. Census Bureau. “Population Estimates: National Sex, Age, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 2008,http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2008-asrh.html (cited

December 20, 2009).

Zuñiga, Maria E. “Using Metaphors in Therapy: Dichos and Latino Clients.” Social Work 37, no. 1 (January 1992): 55-60.

APPENDIX I:  LATIN AMERICAN FOLKLORE

(Some of these are out of print, pero vale la pena….)

Aardema, Verna and Petra Mathers. Borreguita and the Coyote/Borreguita y el coyote. New York: Scholastic Inc. and Diversity Arts, 1994.

Ada, Alma Flor, F. Isabel Campoy, Felipe Dávalos, and Susan Guevara. Cuentos que contaban nuestras abuelas:cuentos populares Hispánicos. New York: Aladdin, 2007.

Ada, Alma Flor and Felipe Dávalos. The Lizard and the Sun/La largartija y el sol. New York: Delacorte Books for Young Children, 1997.

Ada, Alma Flor, F. Isabel Campoy, and Maribel Suarez. Mamá Goose: A Latino Treasury. New York: Hyperion Books, 2006.

Ada, Alma Flor, F. Isabel Campoy, and Maribel Suarez. Mamá Goose: un tesoro de rimas infantiles. New York: Hyperion Books, 2005.

Ada, Alma Flor and Kim Howard. Mediopollito: un cuento tradicional en español e inglés/Half-Chicken: A Folktale in Spanish and English. New York: Doubleday Books, 1995.

Ada, Alma Flor, F. Isabel Campoy, Alice Schertle, and Vivi Escriva. ¡Pio Peep! Rimas tradiciones en español/Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes with CD. New York: Rayo, 2006.

Ada, Alma Flor and Kathleen Kuchera. The Rooster Who Went to His Uncle’s Wedding: A Latin American Folktale. San Diego: Del Sol Books, 1993.

Ada, Alma Flor, F. Isabel Campoy, Felipe Dávalos, and Susan Guevara. Tales our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection. New York: Atheneum, 2006.

Alexander, Ellen. The Llama and the Great Flood: A Folktale from Peru. Boston: T. Y. Crowell, 1989.

Alvarez, Julia and Fabin Negrin. The Secret Footsteps. New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2000.

Alvarez, Julia and Fabin Negrin. Las huellas secretas. New York: Dragonfly Books, 2002.

Alvarez, Julia. The Best Gift of All: The Legend of La Vieja Belén/El mejor regalo del mundo: La leyenda de la Vieja Belén. Madrid: Alfaguara/Santillana, 2008.

Anaya, Rudolfo. Curse of the Chupacabra. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006.

Anaya, Rudolfo, Amy Cordova, and Enrique R. Lamadrid. The First Tortilla: A Bilingual Story, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007.

Arguenta, Mario. Magic Dogs of the Volcanoes/Los perros mágicos de los volcanes. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1997.

Belting, Natalia and William Hillenbrand. The Moon Was Tired of Walking on Air: Origin Myths of South American Indians. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1992.

Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. and Lulu Delacre. Shake it Morena!: and Other Folklore from Puerto Rico. Minneapolis: Millbrook Press, 2006.

Bierhorst, John ed. The Hungry Woman: Myths and Legends of the Aztecs. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1984.

Bierhorst, John, ed. Cuentos folklóricos latinoamericanos: fábulas de las tradiciones hispanas e indígenas Millers Falls: Vintage, 2003.

Bierhorst, John, ed. Latin American Folktales: Stories from Hispanic and Indian Traditions. New York: Pantheon, 2003.

Bierhorst, John, ed. The Monkey’s Haircut and other Stories Told by the Maya.  New York: William Morrow and Company, 1986.

Brusca, Maria Cristina and Tona Wilson. When Jaguars Ate the Moon and Other Stories About Animals and Plants of the Américas. New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1995.

Carter, Dorothy Sharp and W. T. Mars. The Enchanted Orchard: And Other Folktales of Central America. New York: Harcourt Braces Jovanovich, Inc., 1973.

Deedy, Carmen Agra and Michael Austin. Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale with CD.  Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers, 2008.

Deedy, Carmen Agra and Michael Austin. Martina una cucarachita muy linda: un cuento Cubano, Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers, 2007.

Delacre, Lulu. Arroz con leche: canciones y ritmos populares de América Latina/Popular Songs and Rhymes from Latin America. New York: Scholastic Press, 1992.

Delacre, Lulu. Arrorró, mi niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games. New York: Lee & Low Books, 2004.

Delacre, Lulu. De oro y esmeraldas: mitos, leyendas y cuentos populares de latinoamérica. New York: Scholastic en Español, 1996.

Delacre, Lulu. Golden Tales: Myths, Legends, and Folktales from Latin America. New York: Scholastic Press, 1996.

dePaola, Tomie. The Night of Las Posadas. New York: Putnam Juvenile, 2001.

dePaola, Tomie. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. New York: Holiday House, 1980.

dePaola, Tomie. Our Lady of Guadalupe. New York: Holiday House, 1980.

DeSpain, Pleasant, ed. The Emerald Lizard: Fifteen Latin American Folktales to Tell. Atlanta: August House, 1999.

Ehlert, Lois and Gloria de Aragón. Cuckoo/Cucú: A Mexican Folktale. New York: Harcourt Children’s Books, 1997.

Ehlert, Lois and Amy Prince. Moon Rope/Un lazo a la luna: A Peruvian Folktale. New York: Harcourt Children’s Books, 1992.

Galadino, Claudia and Jonathan Coombs. Do You Know the Cucuy?/¿Conoces al Cucuy? Houston: Piñata Books, 2008.

Garza, Carmen Lopez. Magic Windows/Ventanas mágicas. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1999.

Garza, Xavier. Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys. Houston: Arte Público Press, 2004.

Garza, Xavier. Juan and the chupacabras/Juan y el chupacabras. Houston: Piñata Books, 2006.

Gerson, Mary-Joan and Maya Christina Gonzalez. Fiesta Femenina: Celebrating Women in Mexican Folktale. Cambridge: Barefoot Books, 2001.

Gerson, Mary-Joan and Maya Christina Gonzalez. Fiesta femenina: homenaje a las mujeres a través de historias tradicionales mexicanas. Cambridge: Barefoot Books, 2003.

González, Ada Acosta and Christina Rodriguez. Mayte and the Bogeyman/Mayte y el cuco.  Houston: Piñata Books, 2006.

González, Lucía and Lulu Delacre. The Bossy Gallito/El gallo de bodas: A Traditional Cuban Folktale. New York: Scholastic Press, 1994.

González, Lucía and Lulu Delacre. Señor Cat’s Romance and Other Favorite Stories from Latin America. New York: Scholastic Press, 1997.

Griego, Margot C., Betsy L. Bucks, Sharon S. Gilbert, and Laurel H. Kimball. Tortillitas para Mamá and Other Nursery Rhymes. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1998.

Griego y Maestas, José, Rudolfo A. Anaya, and Jaime Valdez. Cuentos: Tales from the Hispanic Southwest Based on Stories Originally Collected by Juan B. Baul. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1980.

Hall, Nancy Abraham, Jill Syverson-Stork, and Kay Chorao. Los pollitos dicen/The Baby Chicks Sing. Boston: Little, Brown, and Young Readers, 1999.

Hayes, Joe and Mauricio Trenard Sayago. Baila, Nana, Baila/Dance, Nana, Dance: Cuban Folktales in English/Spanish. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2008.

Hayes, Joe and Honorio Robledo. El Cucuy: A Boogeyman Cuento in English and Spanish. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2003.

Hayes, Joe and Antonio Castro Lopez. The Day It Snowed Tortillas/El dia que nevo tortillas. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2003.

Hayes, Joe and Joseph Daniel Fiedler. Juan Verdades: The Man Who Couldn’t Tell a Lie.  New

York: Orchard Press, 2001.

Hayes, Joe, Vicki Trego Hill, and Mona Pennypacker. La Llorona/The Weeping Woman: A Hispanic Legend. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2004.

Hayes, Joe and Geronimo Garcia. Tell Me a Cuento/Cuéntame un Story. El Paso: Cinco Puntos

Press, 1998.

Hayes, Joe and Vicki Trego Hill. Watch Out for Clever Women!/¡Cuidado con las mujeres astutas! El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 1996.

Jaffe, Nina, Enrique O. Sanchez, and Gabriela Baeza Ventura. Flor de oro: un mito taíno de

Puerto Rico. Houston: Piñata Books, 2006.

Jaffe, Nina and Enrique O. Sanchez. The Golden Flower: A Taino Myth from Puerto Rico.

Houston: Piñata Books, 2005.

Jaramillo, Nelly Palacio and Elvia. Las nanas de abuelita/Grandmother’s Nursery Rhymes. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1996.

Johnston, Tony and Tomie dePaola. The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote. New York: Putnam

Juvenile, 1994.

Knutson, Barbara and Wendy A. Luft. Amor y pollo asado: un cuento de estafadores de enredos y engaños. Minneapolis: Ediciones Lerner, 2005.

Knutson, Barbara. Love and Roast Chicken: A Trickster Tale from the Andes Mountains. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 2004.

Lattimore, Deborah Nourse. The Flame of Peace: A Tale of the Aztecs. New York: Harper &

Row, 1987.

Loya, Olga. Momentos mágicos/Magic Moments: Tales from Latin America Told in English and in Spanish. Atlanta: August House, 1997.

MacCracken, Joan and Augusto Silva. Trisba & Sula: A Miskitu Folktale from Nicaragua/Una leyenda de los Miskitos de Nicaragua. Exeter: Publishing Works, 2005.

MacDonald, Margaret Read and Sophie Fatus. Algarabia en la granja. Cambridge: Barefoot

Books, 2009.

MacDonald, Margaret Read and Sophie Fatus.  A Hen, a Chick, and a String Guitar: Inspired by a Chilean Folktale with CD.  Cambridge: Barefoot Books, 2005.  Reissued as The Farmyard Jamboree.

MacDonald, Margaret Read and Geraldo Valério. Conejito: A Folktale from Panama. Atlanta:

August House, 2006.

Martinez, Alejandro Cruz, Rosalma Zubizarreta, and Harriet Rohmer. The Woman Who

Outshone the Sun: the Legend of Lucia Zenteno/La mujer que brillaba aún más que el sol: la leyenda de Lucia Zenteno, San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1991.

McDermott, Gerald. Jabutí the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon. New York:

Sandpiper, 2005.

McDermott, Gerald. Musicians of the Sun. New York: Aladdin, 2000.

McManus, Kay. Land of the Five Suns: Looking at Aztec Myths and Legends. Lincolnwood: NTC/Contemporary Publishing Company, 1997.

Mohr, Nicholasa and Antonio Martorell. La canción del coquí y otros cuentos de Puerto Rico.  New York: Viking Juvenile, 1995.

Mohr, Nicholasa and Antonio Martorell. The Song of el Coquí and Other Tales of Puerto Rico.

New York: Viking Juvenile, 1995.

Montejo, Victor and Wallace Kaufman. The Bird Who Cleans the World: and other Mayan Fables. Willimantic: Curbstone Press, 1995.

Montejo, Victor and Rafael Yockteng. Blanca Flor: una princesa maya. Toronto: Groundwood

Books, 2005.

Montejo, Victor and Rafael Yockteng. White Flower: A Maya Princess. Toronto: Groundwood

Books, 2005.

Montes, Marisa and Joe Cepeda. Juan Bobo busca trabajo: Un cuento Puertorriqueño. New

York: Rayo, 2006.

Montes, Marisa and Joe Cepeda. Juan Bobo Goes to Work: A Puerto Rican Folktale. New

York: Rayo, 2000.

Mora, Pat and Raul Colón. Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman With a Big Heart.  New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2005.

Mora, Pat, Raul Colón, and Teresa Mlawer. Doña Flor: un cuento de un mujer gigante con un gran corazón, New York: Dragonfly Books, 2005.

Mora, Pat and Domi. The Night the Moon Fell: A Maya Myth Retold. Toronto: Groundwood

Books, 2000.

Mora, Pat and Domi. La noche que cayó la luna: mita maya. Toronto: Groundwood Books,

2000.

Mora, Pat and Domi. La carerra de sapo y venado. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2007.

Mora, Pat and Domi. The Race of Toad and Deer. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2001.

Ober, Hal and Carol Ober. How Music Came to the World: An Ancient Mexican Myth. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 1994.

Oppenheim, Joanne and Fabian Negrin. The Miracle of the First Poinsettia. Cambridge:

Barefoot Books, 2003.

Orozco, Jose-Luis and Elisa Kleven. De colores and Other Latin American Folksongs for

Children. New York: Puffin, 1999.

Orozco, Jose-Luis and Elisa Kleven. Diez deditos and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America. Puffin, 2002.

Perales, Alonso M. and John Pluecker. Brujas, lechuzas y espantos/Witches, Owls and Spooks.

Houston: Piñata Books, 2008.

Perez, Elvia, Victor Hernandez Mora, Margaret Read MacDonald, and Paula Martin. From the

Winds of Manguito/Desde los vientos de Manguito: Cuban Folktales in English and

Spanish. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.

Philip, Neil and Jacqueline Mair. Horse Hooves and Chicken’s Feet: Mexican Folktales. New

York: Clarion Books, 2003.

Pitcher, Caroline and Jackie Morris. Mariana and the Merchild: A Folk Tale from Chile. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000.

Polette, Keith and Elisabeth O. Dulemba. Paco and the Giant Chile Plant/Paco y la planta de chile gigante. Green Bay: Raven Tree Press, 2008.

Robbins, Sandra and Iku Oseki. The Firefly Star: A Hispanic Folktale with CD. New York:

See-Mores Workshop, 2002.

Roehmer, Harriet and Jesus Guerrero Rea. Atariba and Niguayona: A Story from the Taino People of Puerto Rico. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1988.

Roehmer, Harriet and Mary Anchondo.  How We Came to the Fifth World/Cómo vinimos al quinto mundo. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1988.

Roehmer, Harriet, Octavio Chow, Morris Viduare, and Joe Sam. The Invisible Hunters/Los

cazadores invisibles. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1997.

Roehmer, Harriet. Legend of Food Mountain/La montaña de alimento. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1982.

Roehmer, Harriet and Mira Reisberg. Tio Nacho’s Hat/El sombrero de Tio Nacho. San

Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1997.

Ryan, Pam Muñoz and Claudia Rueda. Nacho and Lolita. New York: Scholastic Press, 2005.

Ryan, Pam Muñoz and Claudia Rueda. Nacho y Lolita. New York: Scholastic en Español, 2005.

VanLaan, Nancy and Beatriz Vidal. The Magic Bean Tree: A Legend from Argentina. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 1998.

Wisniewski, David. Rain Player. Perfection Learning, 1995.


APPENDIX II:  OTHER RECOMMENDED SOURCES FOR LOCATING AND USING FOLKTALES IN LITERACY AND LIBRARY PROGRAMMING

Ada, Alma Flor. A Magical Encounter: Latino Children’s Literature in the Classroom, 2nd ed. Allyn & Bacon, 2002.

Arquette, Kerry, Andrea Zocchi, and Jerry Vigil. Day of the Dead Crafts: More than 24 Projects.

Hoboken: Wiley, 2008.

Garza, Carmen Lopez. Making Magic Windows: Creating Cut-Paper Art with Carmen Lomas Garza. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1999.

Hearne, Betsy and Deborah Stevenson. Choosing Books for Children: A Commonsense Guide. New York: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 1990.

Heckman, Andrea M. Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003.

Horvath, Marie-Noelle and Richard Boutin. Little Felted Animals: Create 16 Irresistible Creatures with Simple Needle-Felting Techniques. New York: Watson-Guptill, 2009.

Thompson, Angela. Textiles of Central and South America, Marlborough: Crowood Press, 2006.

Johnston, Tony and Jeanette Winter. Day of the Dead. New York: Voyager Books, 2000.

Keep, Richard. Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishing,

2004.

MacDonald, Margaret Read.  Cuentos que van y vienen: comó inventar nuevos & narrar los favoritos de siempre. Buenos Aires: Aique, 2001.

MacDonald, Margaret Read. Five Minute Tales. Atlanta: August House, 2007.

MacDonald, Margaret Read, Jen Whitman, Nat Whitman, and Wjauppa Tossa. Shake It Up

Tales. Atlanta: August House, 2001.

MacDonald, Margaret Read. Tell the World: Storytelling Across Language Barriers. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited, 2008.

MacDonald, Margaret Read. Three Minute Tales. Atlanta: August House, 2004.

Merrill, Yvonne Y. and Mary Simpson. Hands-on Latin America: Art Activities for All Ages.

Salt Lake City: Kits Publishing, 1998.

Milford, Susan and Michael A. Donato. Tales Alive! Ten Multicultural Folktales with Activities. Nashville: Williamson Books, 2007.

Morales, Yuyi. Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book. New York: Roaring Book Press, 2008.

Morales, Yuyi. Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book.  San Francisco: Chronicle

Books, 2003.

Pavón, Ana-Elba and Diana Borrego. 25 Latino Craft Projects: Celebrating Culture in Your Library, Chicago: American Library Association, 2002.

Perl, Lila, Victoria Bellinger, and Alma Flor Ada. Piñatas and Paper Flowers: Holidays of the Americas in English and Spanish/Piñatas y flores de papel: fiestas de las Américas en ingles y español. New York: Sandpiper, 1983.

San Vicente, Luis. Festival of bones/El festival de las Calaveras: The Little-Bitty Book for the Day of the Dead. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2002.

Shahan, Sherry. Cool Cats Counting. Atlanta: August House, 2005.

Shahan, Sherry. Fiesta! Atlanta: August House, 2008.

Shahan, Sherry. Spicy Hot Colors: Colores Picantes. Atlanta: August House, 2004.

Sharp, Laurie and Kevin Sharp. Wool Pets: Making 20 Figures with Wool Roving and a Barbed

Needle. Minneapolis: Creative Publishing, 2008.

Slate, Joseph and Felipe Dávalos. The Secret Stars. Tarrytown: Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books, 1998.

Truck, Mary C. Mexico & Central America: A Fiesta of Cultures, Crafts, and Activities for Ages 8-12. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2004.

Weill, Cynthia, Moisés Jiménez, Armando Jiménez, and K.B. Basseches. ABeCedarios: Mexican Folk Art ABCs in English and Spanish. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2007.

Weill, Cynthia, Martin Santiago, and Quirino Santiago. Opuestos: Mexican Folk Art Opposites in English and Spanish. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2009.

Winter, Jeanette.  Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book. New York:

Sandpiper, 2006.


[1] Throughout this chapter, the term Latino refers to people that are from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central America, and South America by origin or descent, regardless of their race (U.S. Census 2008).

 

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