Story: Students prepare to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and have a great time practicing the Mexican hat dance, “Jarabe tapatío”. It’s show time, but can the students dance the “Jarabe tapatío” without stepping on the hat?
Non-fiction: An overview of the history and celebration of Cinco de Mayo with interesting and colorful photographs.
The celebration of Cinco de Mayo has by far transcended the important historical moment that inspired it, la Batalla de Puebla. Now it has become a celebration for all Latinos. We celebrate our identity, our characteristic cultural way of embracing universal values.
Alma Flor Ada and I have great admiration for Benito Juárez, the Mexican leader that was able to insure the independence of México by defeating the French who had tried to impose a French emperor in México. When we are in New York, we like to visit his statue to celebrate his life and the memory of his generous soul.
Benito Juárez, an indigenous boy of very humble origins grew up to be a defender of indigenous people and everyone in his country. We have expressed our admiration by writing his biography that can be found in the book Smiles or Sonrisas of the series Gateways to the Sun or Series Colección Puertas al sol.
The story for this book is inspired in the poem “Jarabe tapatío” from Corre al Coro Música amiga 4. This poem has been put to music by Suni Paz and can be found in the CD of the same name, also part of the Series Música amiga.
Many readers are intrigued about how two authors collaborate to write a book. If you share this curiosity you may enjoy reading how I explain this experience in the chapter entitled “Writing in Collaboration: One plus One is One or Two” in the book Alma Flor Ada and You, volume II published by Libraries Unlimited.