RAINBOW WEAVER – Perfect Picture Book Friday
Hi Friends, grab your passport and Spanish dictionary– I’m linking up with Perfect Picture Book Friday with a book set in a very special Guatemalan location.
Title: Rainbow Weaver Tejedora del Arcoiris
Written by: Linda Elovitz Marshall
Illustrated by: Elisa Chavarri
Translated by: Eida de la Vega
Published by: Children’s Book Press 2016
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes/topics: Mayan Indians, weaving, recycling
High in the mountains above Lake Atitlán, Ixchel watched her mother weave thread into fabric as beautiful as a rainbow. The fabric had blues as clear as the sky, reds as beautiful as the flowers, and yellows as golden as the corn.
“Mama,” Ixchel asked. “May I weave too?”
Her mother shook her head. “Not now, Ixchel,” she answered. “This cloth is for the market. If it brings a good price, it will help pay for your school and books.”
Brief Synopsis: Ixchel is fascinated by the weavers in her village and watches as them work on their looms. She longs to weave but thread is precious and the family just doesn’t have the resources to buy extra. But Ixchel is determined to weave. She builds her own loom from sticks and tries to weave using a variety of materials such a grass and wool without success.
As she walks along the dirt roads, she notices the plastic bags tossed from car windows or dropped as people returned from the market. They seem to be everywhere. She has a great idea – she will weave using the plastic bags!
Why I like this book: Rainbow Weaver is based on the true story of Mayan weavers who live near Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. These resourceful artisans are among the most skilled weavers in the world who, when faced with limited resources, began using discarded plastic bags as “threads” woven in the colorful traditional patterns. Not only did they create beautiful fabrics, they cleaned the area of plastic trash.
The book is written in both English and Spanish and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Rainbow Weaver helps provide money for the education of the weavers’ children.
Children’s books are one of the best ways to learn about places and Rainbow Weaver should be on a “must read” list when studying about Guatemala. My daughter and her family lived most of last year in Guatemala and I loved every minute I spent there with them.
Links to Resources: Illustrator Elisa Chavarri has created coloring pages and paper dolls to accompany Rainbow Weaver.
Read about how the town of San Pedro la Laguna solved the problem of plastic and styrofoam trash around Lake Atitlán.
Here is an interesting video showing the process of weaving using plastic bags: