Celebrate the Sky
By Jeaninne Escallier Kato, Illustrated by Rachel Smit0h
3L Publishing, $14.95, 32 pages
Manuel is a talented artist who lives with his family in an apartment building in Mexico City. He enjoys hearing stories about his heritage and famous artists who learned to represent their cultures in their art. One day, when Manuel decides to paint the outsides of his apartment building, the landlord comes to tell Manuel that his family is going to be evicted for defacing private property. Manuel is devastated and does not know where his family will go, so he flees in the dead of night, hops onto a bus, and rides to see the murals of Diego Rivera in person. He is struck by their beauty and devises a way to help his family, celebrate his heritage and community, while convincing their landlord to let them stay.
Manuel’s Murals is written by Jeaninne Escallier Kato, a woman with a diverse, multicultural background who wanted to share her love of Mexico and her appreciation for all different cultures. Kato’s vision comes to life with the colorful illustrations of Rachel Smith, who makes the book’s pictures as lively and vibrant as Manuel’s own murals. This is a wonderful way for children to learn about the Hispanic culture, and it even includes Spanish vocabulary and a glossary in the back.
Reviewed by Sophie Sestero