May Literature Connections


Date: May 5

This date is special because: It is Cinco de Mayo.

Books That Relate To This Date:


Behrens, J. (1985). "Fiesta! Cinco de Mayo, Dias de Fiesta." Ill. by Scott Taylor. Chicago: Childrens Press.

Brown, T. (1986). "Hello, Amigos!" Ill. by Fran Ortiz. New York: Henry Holt.

Bulmer-Thomas, B. (1991). "Journey Through Mexico." Mahwah, NJ: Troll.

Coronado, R. (1982). "Cooking the Mexican Way." Minneapolis: Lerner.

Czernecki, S. and Rhodes, T. (1992). "Pancho's Pinata." New York: Hyperion.

Delacre, L. (1993). "Vejigante Masquerader." New York: Scholastic. (written in Spanish and English)

Dorros, A. (1993). "Abuela." Ill. by Elisa Kleven. New York: Dutton.

Emberley, R. (1990). "My House, Mi Casa: A Book in Two Languages." New York: Scholastic.

Ets, M. and Labastida, A. (1959). "Nine Days to Christmas." New York: Viking.

Fisher, L.E. (1988). "Pyramid of the Sun: Pyramid of the Moon." New York: Macmillan.

Gleiter, J. (1990). "Benitoa Juarez." Milwaukee: Raintree.

Gray, G. (1978). "How Far, Felipe?" Ill. by Ann Grifalconi. New York: Harper.

Haskins, J. (1989). "Count Your Way Through Mexico." Ill. by Helen Byers. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda.

Havill, J. (1992). "Treasure Nap." Ill. by Elivia Savadier. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Hewett, J. (1990). "Hector Lives in the U.S. Now: The Story of a Mexican-American Child." Ill. by Richard Hewett. New York: Harper Collins.

Ian, J. (1989). "Mexico." New York: Watts.

Jacobsen, P.O. & Kristensen, P.S. (1984). "A Family in Mexico" New York: Bookwright.

James, I. (1989). "Mexico." New York: Watts.

Kimmel, E.A. (1993). "The Witch's Face: A Mexican Tale." Ill. by Fabricio Vanden Broeck. New York: Holiday House.

Lattimore, D.N. (1987). "The Flame of Peace: A Tale of the Aztecs." New York: Harper & Row.

Lewis, T.P. (1971). "Hill of Fire." Ill. by Joan Sandin. New York: Harper.

Lye, K. (1982). "Take a Trip to Mexico." New York: Watts.

Mora, P. (1992). "A Birthday Basket for Tia." Ill. by Cecily Lang. New York: Macmillan.

Moran, T. (1987). "A Family in Mexico." Minneapolis: Lerner.

"My First Phrases in Spanish and English." (1993). New York: Simon & Schuster.

Poulet, V. (1988). "Azulin Encontro' Algo." Chicago: Children's Press.

Poulet, V. (1985). "Azulin Va a La Escuela." Ill. by Peggy Perry Anderson. Chicago: Children's Press.

Poulet, V. (1990). "Azulin Visita a Mexico: Blue Bug Visits Mexico." Ill. by Peggy P. Anderson. Chicago: Children's Press.

Poulet, V. (1981). "El Libro de Colores de Azulin." Chicago: Childrens Press.

Poulet, V. (1988). "El Tesoro de Azulin" Chicago: Children's Press.

Roe, E. (1992). "Con Mi Hermano/With My Brother." Ill. by Robert Casilla. New York: Scholastic.

Shalant, P. (1992). "Look What We've Brought You from Mexico." New York: Messner.

Singer, I.B. (1991). "Por Que' Noe' Eligio' La Palamo." Ill. by Eric Carle. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Taha, K.T. (1986). "A Gift for Tia Rosa." Ill. by Dee de Rosa. Minneapolis: Dillon.

Wepman, D. (1986). "Benito Juarez." New York: Chelsea House.

Williams, L. (1991). "Getting to Know Mexico." Lincolnwood, IL: Passport Books.


Dabcovich, L. (1992). "The Keys to My Kingdom: A Poem in Three Languages." New York: Lothrop. (English, French, Spanish)

De Gerez, T. (1984). "My Song is a Piece of Jade: Poems of Ancient Mexico in English and Spanish." Ill. by William Start. Boston: Little, Brown.

Yolen, J. (1992). "Street Rhymes Around the World." Honesdale, PA: Wordsong. (pages 6-7, 18-19)


1. Celebrate a fiesta with foods from Mexico.

2. Help students make a piñata depicting something from the Mexican culture. Fill it with candy and take outside to swing at and break.

3. Use a pocket chart to collect information learned about Mexico. Put the words on the left in the pocket chart and invite students to find examples from the above books.

Volcanoes/Mountains: Popacatapetl, Ixtaccihuatl

Cities: Mexico City, Chihuahua, Fresnillo, Pachuca, Taxco, Oaxaca, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta

Foods: tortilla, masa, memela, cafe' de ollita, tacos, menudo, cochinita pibil

4. Match the Spanish words to the English symbols in a pocket chart.

1. Uno (OO-no)

2. Dos (dohs)

3. Tres (trace)

4. Cuatro (KWA-tro)

5. Cinco (SIN-ko)

6. Seis (sace)

7. Siete (see-EH-tay)

8. Ocho (O-cho)

9. Nueve (noo-EH-vay)

10. Diez (dee-ES)

5. Other words to be matched in a pocket chart:


red: rojo

pink: rosado or rosa

orange: anaranjado

yellow: amarillo

green: verde

blue: azul

purple: morado

gray: gris

black: negro

white: blanco


circle: el círculo

square: el cuadro

triangle: el triángulo

diamond: el rombo

rectangle: el rectángulo

octagon: el octagonol

oval: el ovalo


nombre: name

alfabeto: alphabet

escuela: school

números: numbers

creyones: crayons

Date: May 14

This date is special because: It is Gabriel Fahrenheit's birthday (1686).

Gabriel Fahrenheit introduced the use of mercury in thermometers and improved their accuracy.

Books That Relate To This Date:


Ardely, N. (1983). "Hot and Cold." New York: Watts.

Barrett, J. (1978). "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." New York: Macmillan.

Bauer, C.F. (1986). "Rain Day Stories and Poems." New York: Lippincott.

Bauer, C.F. (1988). "Windy Day Stories and Poems." New York: Lippincott.

Berger, M. (1991). "Make Your Own Weather Station." New York: Scholastic.

Borden, L. (1989). "Caps, Hats, Socks, and Mittens." New York: Scholastic.

Branley, F. (1985). "Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll." New York: Crowell.

Branley, F. (1985). "Hurricane Watch." New York: Crowell.

Branley, F,. (1987). "It's Raining Cats and Dogs." Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Branley, F. (1983). "Rain and Hail." New York: Crowell.

Branley, F. (1984). "Shivers and Goose Bumps: How We Keep Warm." New York: Crowell.

Briggs, R. (1978). "The Snowman." New York: Random House.

Caple, K. (1990). "The Coolest Place in Town." Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

de Paola, T. (1975). "The Cloud Book." New York: Holiday House.

DeWitt, L. (1991). "What Will the Weather Be?" New York: Harper Collins.

Dorros, A. (1989). "Feel the Wind." New York: Crowell.

Dupasquier, P. (1988). "Our House on the Hill..' New York: Viking.

Gibbons, G. (1987). "Weather Forecasting." New York: Macmillan.

Gibbons, G. (1990). "Weather Words and What They Mean." New York: Holiday House.

Jeunesse, G. and de Bourgoing, P. (1991). "Weather." New York: Scholastic.

Kahl, J.D. (1992). "Wet Weather: Rain Showers and Snowfall." Minneapolis: Lerner.

Knutson, K. (1992). "Muddigush." New York: Macmillan.

Leslie, C.W. (1991). "Nature All Year Long." New York: Greenwillow.

Lyon, G.E. (1990). "Come a Tide." New York: Orchard.

Maass, R. (1990). "Come a Tide." New York: Orchard.

Maestro, B. and Maestro, G. (1990). "Temperature and You." New York: Lodestar.

Pearson, S. (1988). "My Favorite Time of the Year." New York: Harper & Row.

Pettigrew, M. (1987). "Science Today: Weather." New York: Gloucester.

Polacco, P. (1990). "Thunder Cake." New York: Philomel.

Provensen, A. and Provensen, M. (1978). "The Year at Maple Hill Farm." New York: Atheneum.

Rogers, P. (1989). "What Will the Weather Be Like Today?" New York: Scholastic.

Serfozo, M. (1990). "Rain Talk." New York: McElderry.

Seymour, P. (1985). "How the Weather Works." Ill. by Sally Springer. New York: Macmillan.

Simon, S. (1989). "Storms" New York: Morrow.

Spier, P. (1982). "Rain." Garden City, NY: Doubleday.

Wilson, F. (1987). "The Weather Pop-Up Book." Ill. by Philip Jacobs. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Wyler, R. (1989). "Raindrops and Rainbows." Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Messner.


Lawson, L. (1989). "Addie's Dakota Winter." New York: Whitman.

Ruckman, I. (1984). "Night of the Twisters." New York: Crowell.


Adoff, A. (1991). "In for Winter, Out for Spring." San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Adoff, A. (1977). "Tornado Poems." New York: Delacorte.

Lewis, J.P. (1991). "Earth Verses and Weather Rhymes." New York: Atheneum.

Martin, B. and Archambault, J. (1988). "Listen tot he Rain." New York: Holt.

Prelutsky, J. (1984). "It's Snowing." New York: Greenwillow.

Yolen, J. (1986). "Ring of Earth." San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Yolen, J. (1993). "Weather Report." Ill. by Annie Gusman. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong.


1. Make a chart of the four season of the year. Ask students which is their favorite.

2. Keep a calendar of special events that are related to weather: the first snowfall, when the first leave turns gold in the fall, and so on.

3. Invite students to make a list of sound words related to weather.

4. Ask students to write or tell weather-related experience stories or poems.

5. Compare temperatures in different locales across the nation. Use the newspaper to chart the high and low temperatures.

Date: May 25

This date is special because: It is African Freedom Day.

Books That Relate To This Date:


Aardema, V. (1992). "Anansi Finds a Fool: An Ashanti Tale." New York: Dial.

Aardema, V. (1985). "Bimwili and the Zimwi: A Tale from Zanzibar." Ill. by Susan Meddaugh. New York: Dial. (Zanzibar)

Alexander, L. (1992). "The Fortune-Tellers," Ill. by Trina Schart Hyuman. New York: Dutton.

Anderson, D.A. (1993). "The Origin of Life on Earth." Ill. by Kathleen Atkins Wilson. Mt. Airy, MD: Sights Productions.

Barker, C. (1985). "A Family in Nigeria." Minneapolis: Lerner. (Nigeria)

Daly, B. (1985). "My Village in Morocco: Mokhtar of the Atlas Mountains." Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett. (Morocco)

Daly, B. (1985). "My Village in the Sahra: Tarlift, Tuareg Boy." Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett.

Daly, N. (1986). "Not So Fast, Songololo." New York: Atheneum. (South Africa)

Feelings, T. (1974). "Jambo Means Hello." New York: Dial. (Swahili)

Feelings, T. (1971). "Moja Means One." New York: Dial. (Swahili)

French, F. (1993). "King of Another Country." New York: Scholastic.

Gray, N. (1988). "A Country Far Away." Ill. by Peter Dupasquier. New York: Orchard.

Grifalconi, A. (1987). "Darkness and the Butterfly." Boston: Little, Brown.

Grifalconi, A. (1986). "Village of Round and Square Houses." Boston: Little, Brown. (Cameroon)

Griffin, M. (1988). "A Family in Kenya." Photos by Liba Taylor. Minneapolis: Lerner. (Kenya)

Heide, F.P. and Gilliland, J.H. (1990). "The Day of Ahmed's Secret." Ill. by Ted Lewin. New York: Lothrop. (Egypt)

Isadora, R. (1991). "At the Crossroads." New York: Greenwillow.

Isadora, R. (1992). "Over the Green Hills." New York: Greenwillow. (Transkei)

Jacobsen, P.O. and Kristensen, P.S. (1985). "A Family in West Africa." New York: Bookwright.

Kroll, V. (1993). "Masai and I." Ill. by Nancy Carpenter. New York: Four Winds. (Masai)

Leigh, N.K. (1993). "Learning to Swim in Swaziland: A Child's Eye View of a Southern African Country." New York: Scholastic. (Swaziland)

Lerner Publications. (1988). "Tanzania in Pictures." Minneapolis: Lerner.

Lewin, H. (1981). "Jafta and the Wedding." Ill. by Lisa Kopper. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda.

Lewin, H. (1983). "Jafta: The Town." Ill. by Lisa Kopper. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda.

Lye, K. (1983). "Take a Trip to Nigeria." New York: Watts. (Nigeria)

Margolies, B.A. (1990). "Rehema's Journey: A Visit in Tanzanta." New York: Scholastic. (Tanzania)

McDermott, G. (1992). "Zomo the Rabbit: A Trickster Tale from West Africa." New York: Dial.

McKenna, N.D. (1986). "A Zulu Family." Minneapolis: Lerner. (South Africa)

Mennen, I. and Dale, N. (1990). "Somewhere in Africa." Ill. by Nicolaas Martiz. New York: Dutton. (South Africa)

Mollel, T.M. (1990). "The Orphan Boy." Ill. by Paul Morin. New York: Clarion. (Masaii folktale)

O'Toole, T. (1988). "Malawi in Pictures." Minneapolis: Lerner. (Malawi)

Peters, L.W. (1989). "Serengeti." New York: Crestwood House. (Tanzania)

Sierra, J. (1992). "The Elephant's Wrestling Match." Ill. by Brain Pinkney. New York: Lodestar.

Stelson, C.B. (1988). "Safari." Photos by Kim A. Stelson. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda. (Tanzania)

Steptoe, J. (1987). "Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters." New York: Lothrop. (Zimbabwe)

Stewart, D. (1993). "The Dove." Ill. by Jude Daly. New York: Greenwillow. (Durban, South Africa)

Stewart, J. (1986). "A Family in Morocco." Photos by Jenny Matthews. Minneapolis: Lerner. (Morocco)

Watson, R.L. (1988). "South Africa in Pictures." Minneapolis: Lerner.

Williams, K. (1991). "When Africa Was Home." Ill. by Floyd Cooper. New York: Orchard.

Wisniewski, D. (1992). "Sundiata: Lion King of Mali." New York: Clarion. (Mali).


Fairman, T. (1992). "Bury My Bones but Keep My Words." Ill. by Meshack Asare. New York: Henry Holt.


Hudson, W. (1993). "Pass It On: African American Poetry for Children." Ill. by Floyd Cooper. New York: Scholastic.

Johnson, J.W. (1993). "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Ill. by Elizabeth Catiett. New York: Walker.

Yolen, J. (1992). "Street Rhymes Around the World." Honesdale, PA: Wordsong. (pages 26-27)


  1. Discuss the meaning of independence or freedom. What other countries celebrate their independence?

  2. After reading "Rehema's Journey" (Margolies, 1990), students can write their own travelogue of the city, state, or region they live in.

  3. African Freedom Day is celebrated with sports contests. Invite children to hold a "class olympics."




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