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Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/01/2016 Ixchel wants to help her mother weave so that she can pay for her school fees. Because there isn’t enough thread available, Ixchel must find alternative materials if she wishes to make weavings to sell at the market. Set in Guatemala and based on Mayan women’s resourcefulness and the tradition of weaving, Marshall’s bilingual story tells how Ixchel uses plastic bags littered in her community to create beautiful, rainbow-colored weavings. Although Marshall relies on the monolithic term Mayan to describe Ixchel’s background, the glossary/pronunciation guide provided at the beginning of the book identifies the Mayan language used briefly in the text as Kaqchikel. Chavarri’s illustrations bring the story to life, incorporating vibrant colors and intricate patterns into the characters’ clothes and weavings in a way that allows young readers to see how the amazing tradition of weaving is passed on from generation to generation. A cheerful tale of innovation with strong multicultural ties. For another story on weaving in Guatemala, see Abuela’s Weave (1995), by Omar S. Catañeda. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2016 K-Gr 3—Fans of Omar S. Castañeda's Abuela's Weave will enjoy this lovely selection about perseverance, community, and the ancient Mayan art of weaving. In order to earn money at the market, the women in young Ixchel's Guatemalan village "weave thread into fabric as beautiful as a rainbow." The girl desperately wants to learn and participate in this traditional art, but her mother gently refuses. Mama tells her that the money she earns from the cloth will be used to purchase books and fund an education for Ixchel. The cloth must be eye-catching in order to earn a good price. Ixchel is disappointed but determined to help and soon comes up with a creative way to clean up her village and weave a unique type of cloth. Vibrant illustrations bring the story to life and provide readers with a glimpse of indigenous Guatemalan culture. The images could also be used during a discussion about facial expressions and how they communicate emotions. The English and Spanish texts are clearly delineated. The author incorporates several words in Kaqchikel, one of the Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala. A glossary and pronunciation guide are provided at the beginning of the volume. A detailed author's note at the narrative's conclusion explains the inspiration for this tale. Pair this with a simple weaving project and some primary source photographs. VERDICT An uplifting offering that would be a wonderful addition to picture book collections and STEAM programs.—Katie Darrin, Boulder Valley School District, CO - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.