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On May 5th, around the United States and Mexico, colorful decorations will hang, mariachi bands will play, and people will party in the street to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. This holiday celebrates Mexican culture – the music, the traditions, the food, but why, exactly, are we celebrating on this day? Some people think that Cinco de Mayo marks the day when Mexico became independent from Spain, or when the Mexican Civil War ended. Nope! Actually, Cinco de Mayo celebrates a battle in a war that Mexico lost!
Mexico had a tough start as a country, enduring war after war, first against America in 1846, then against themselves in the Mexican Civil War. When all this was over, the country had spent so much on war that there was very little money for regular people to spend in their lives; in other words, the economy was hurt. As countries sometimes do, Mexico borrowed money from other nations in order to help itself. And, as friends sometimes do when you borrow a toy or book from them, those countries got tired of waiting for Mexico to give their property back and came over to collect. No, their moms didn’t drive them over in the van or anything like that; fleets of warships representing England, Spain and France crossed the Atlantic Ocean, entered the Mexican coastline and demanded that Mexico pay them back.
Mexico didn’t have the money to pay them though! What’s a young country to do?! All they had were vouchers to give to the representatives from these countries, papers that double-super-promised to someday pay them back. This satisfied England and Spain and they went home, but to France, this meant war! Sacre bleu!
Under the command of Napoleon III, France invaded Mexico with the intention to totally control it. They marched from the coastline to Mexico City, and on the way passed the small Mexican state of Puebla. The Mexican soldiers at Puebla were vastly outnumbered, but in this fight on May 5, 1862, called La Batalla de Puebla, Mexico somehow overcame the odds and defeated the French forces! Now that’s reason to celebrate!
France eventually managed to occupy Mexico, but they were delayed a whole year by this surprising Mexican victory. The shocking, underdog victory at Puebla has come to symbolize the Mexican spirit of resilience and tenacity. Therefore, on its anniversary every year, Mexico and places with many people of Mexican descent play Cumbia music, wave the Mexican flag, eat tamales, hit pinatas, and generally celebrate all things Mexico!
Of course, at Sylvan Dell we celebrate Mexican people and culture every day! Each and every one of our dozens of titles are available in Spanish, such as Los árboles de globos and La naturaleza recicla—¿Lo haces tú? and El detective deductive!
The ‘CAT Artists’ are wishing you all a most springlike and sweet Easter Weekend…. ENJOY!
How do pigs say “I love you” on Valentine’s Day? Not just with flowers and hearts – these pigs get creative! In fact, there are any number of ways to say “I love you.”
This sweet board book illustrates these various affectionate scenarios, with shiny foil throughout. A new version of a holiday favorite, Pigs in Love reminds kids that it’s always the perfect place and time to tell the special people in their lives that they love them.
Reviewer: Alice Berger
Once a year the eyes of the nation turn to this tiny hamlet in western Pennsylvania, to watch a master at work. The master, Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous weatherman, the groundhog. Who, as legend has it, can predict the coming of an early spring. So I guess the question we have to ask ourselves today is, does Phil feel lucky?
~Ground Hog DayAdd a Comment
After hauling his huge sack of candy to town, only to have the children greedily grab at it and knock him down, the Easter Bunny has had enough. Red-hot with anger, he declares himself the Bad Easter Bunny (BEB for short), and destroys his goodies. Then he runs through the town doing bad things. What will it take to transform BEB back into the nice bunny he used to be? Maybe the kindness of one little girl.
Anger and retaliation, repentance and forgiveness, and gratitude are all featured in The Bad Easter Bunny. Color also plays a part as BEB changes shades to match his moods. Ultimately, good overcomes evil, and BEB returns to his former generous self. As he finally realizes, “…being bad will not solve your problems and ‘thank you’ are the nicest words in the world.”
Reviewer: Alice Berger
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I hope everyone has a magical Christmas Eve. I thought I would share a poem by Eileen Spinelli to help celebrate the feel of the season. You can visit Eileen at: www.eileenspinelli.com . Each month she shares a poem.
Just a short note to wish you
A Merry Christmas
No matter what the year seems to bring to us all, this time of year will bring LIGHT and HOPE and JOY to grab. Thank your ‘higher power’ and rejoice!
This illustration was done by Dorris Ettlinger. She has opened an Itsy Shop, that is stocked with watercolors and prints of some of her children’s book illustrations. Take a look. You might see something you like. It is a nice way to support the arts.
Filed under: Children's Books Tagged: cats, caution, December 26th, funny, holiday, hunor, kitties, rug rats, stupuid stuff, video, videosAdd a Comment
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I loved the way Dahlia Broul’s above illustration showed her animals enjoying themselves. I loved the soft inviting colors and even though, it isn’t a picture of noise, laughter, and partying, it somehow made me think of how bittersweet and lovely saying goodbye to the old year and bringing in the new can be on New Year’s Eve – even without all the celebrating.
There are all different ways to bring in the New Year. Listen to some music, play with the animals, gaze at the lights of the night. Celebrate with something that fills your soul and inspires you.
from CAT artist Priscilla Burris with one of her so special visual moments…… we all wish you all many of these enjoyable, loveable, shared, cozy moments in your future!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL !
Whoever you are, no matter what age, don’t be afraid to turn the next page… For when you do, you’ll encounter ghosts, skeletons, witches and jack-o-lanterns having a wonderful party.
In this delightful rhyming book, Linda Franklin shows us the usual Halloween characters, busy getting ready for their evening plans. And when darkness rolls in, the merriment begins. Charming watercolor illustrations shrouded in mist display these eerie Halloween scenes.
Halloween lovers of all ages will enjoy Into the Pumpkin as they make their own ghoulish plans for the holiday.
Reviewer: Alice Berger
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A reworking of an image/card from two years ago. This one is on my December promo postcard. Sure is a lot of fun to change this up from time to time and add new angels and animals, etc. My personal favorites are the dog-angel, cat-angel and mouse-angel!Add a Comment
PLEASE CLICK ON ABOVE IMAGE.
The Illustration Friday word of the week is crunchy. So I squeaked out another quick 2 sketches to try to make up for my lagging the past couple of days.
Ok, I’m not sure where I got the idea the Illustration Friday word of the week was “crunchy.” Must have dreamt it. It’s actually “snow.” So, there’s snow in my image, so it still fits, hee hee!