All posts filed under: Arts & Culture

Fiesta Fireworks

We meet Caren whose family makes the fireworks that the town explodes to celebrate their patron saint. At their workshop on the outskirts of town her father, uncle, and grandfather build toritos, bulls that are made of Papier-mâché and painted. Then they are covered with fireworks. Castles of fireworks are built in the town plaza and that night after the procession the fireworks light up the town as rockets are shot into the night sky exploding with color flowers of fire.

Let’s Dance

If you can speak, you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance. All you have to do is kick, step, turn, hop, jump, reach, leap, and wiggle.

Barrio: José’s Neighborhood

José’s neighborhood is the Mission District in San Francisco. The book shows the blending of cultures such as Halloween becoming the Day of the Dead which is celebrated in schools, stores, and homes. It is a community that sings out it’s cultures and histories with murals, festivals. gardens, foods, holidays and birthday parties. 

Make a Piñata

A small simple book with one-line texts beneath the pictures showing George Ancona making a piñata with a boy and girl. Then of course the breaking of the piñata by a group of children who then scramble for the goodies. 

Earth Daughter

In Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico, little Alicia Histia follows in the footsteps of her parents and pueblo ancestors. Working alongside her mother she is creates pots and clay animals. She joins her grandmother to make bread that she bakes in an outdoor oven. On feast days she dons her traditional dress and dances behind her mother.

Fiesta U.S.A

Four celebrations brought here by Hispanic immigrants to retain their traditions and to share them with their new neighbors. 

Cutters, Carvers & the Cathedral

For more than one hundred years, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine has been under construction. Workers from Indiana to New York, from France to Nigeria, have contributed their abilities and labor and time, decade after decade. And although the cathedral is still unfinished, services are held there, festivals are celebrated, and the helpless and homeless are fed, clothed, and befriended within its walls.

The Piñata Maker / El Piñatero

Don Ricardo, or Tío Rico as the children call him, is the piñata maker of a village in southern Mexico. Now seventy-seven years old, Tío Rico has been making elaborate and beautiful piñatas for fifteen years. He brings great joy to children with his magical puppets, masks and piñatas–and of course, he gets invited to nearly all the parties.


Throughout the year in cities and towns and on reservations across the United States and Canada, Native Americans gather to celebrate their heritage and culture. Suits and ties, jeans and tennis shoes give way to breastplates and bustles, leggings and moccasins. In a kaleidoscope of color and movement, men, women, and children step and spin to the driving beat of a drum. 

My Camera

A guidebook for the first time photographer that clearly shows how to get the best results from a simple camera. MY CAMERA demonstrates the basics of picture taking and suggests projects to try. Abundant color photographs show a simple camera in use alongside examples of the results children can obtain.

Pablo Remembers: The Fiesta of the Day of the Dead

On October 30, people everywhere in Mexico are busy preparing for the three-day fiesta of El Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Bakers are baking the traditional pan de muertos, the bread of the dead. Candy makers are making sugar skulls. Children are cutting out cardboard skeletons. Farmers are harvesting marigolds, flowers of the dead. Families are building and decorating alters to honor loved ones who have died. 

Dancing Is

Dancing is a skip, and a hop, and a kick, and a stomp, and just feeling good. People dance for different reasons, at many times and places. They dance to entertain others, to remember their homeland, or even to tell stories. Most often, they dance to have fun.