Create a Puerto Rican Carnival Mask

During our Hispanic Heritage celebration, each child will have the opportunity to create a Puerto Rican carnival mask! We will also be sharing a few of our favorite books that are reflective of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Multicultural programs such as this, help children to develop a better understanding that their world is larger than their community, and enriches the lives of everyone. You will not want to miss this program. * Online registration is required.

Extend your child's experience with books that  you read together with your child at home. 

  Good-bye, Havana! Hola, New York!  Edie Colón

When six-year-old Gabriella hears talk of Castro and revolution in her home in Cuba, she doesn't understand. Soon the day comes when she and her parents move to a new place called the Bronx. Life isn't the same. It isn't warm like Havana. They have something called "snow" and food called "hot dogs" and "macaroni." What will it take for the Bronx to feel like home? Inspired by the author's childhood, this story of the immigrant experience for a child is poignant, tender, and true.

 Martina, The Beautiful Cockroach: a Cuban Folktale,  retold by Carmen Agra Deedy

Carmen Agra Deedy delivers a deliciously inventive Cuban version of the beloved Martina folktale, complete with a dash of café cubano. Martina the beautiful cockroach doesn't know coffee beans about love and marriage. That's where her Cuban family comes in. While some of the Cucarachas offer her gifts to make her more attractive, only Abuela, her grandmother, gives her something really useful: un consejo increíble , some shocking advice. "You want me to do what?" Martina gasps. At first, Martina is skeptical of her Abuela's unorthodox suggestion, but when suitor after suitor fails the Coffee Test, she wonders if a little green cockroach can ever find true love. Soon, only the gardener Pérez, a tiny brown mouse, is left. But what will happen when Martina offers him café cubano? After reading this sweet and witty retelling of the Cuban folktale, you'll never look at a cockroach the same way again.

 What Can You Do With Paleta? Carmen Tafolla

Where the paleta wagon rings its tinkly belland carries a treasure of icy paletasin every color of the sarape. . .Create a masterpiece, make tough choices (strawberry or coconut?), or cool off on a warm summer's day-there's so much to do with a paleta. As she strolls through her barrio, a young girl introduces readers to the frozen, fruit-flavoured treat that thrills Mexican and Mexican-American children.

 How Nanita Learned to Make Flan  by Campbell Geeslin

The cobbler in a tiny Mexican town is so busy that he cannot make shoes for his daughter, so she makes her own shoes, which take her far away to a rich man's home where she must clean and cook all day. Includes a recipe for flan.

Count Me In: A Parade of Mexican Folk Art Numbers in English and Spanish 

Practice your numbers in English and Spanish when you count the beautiful dancers, playful musicians, and happy children of Oaxaca as the Guelaguetza parade goes by! Pronounced Gal-a-get-zah, the lively celebration full of traditional dancing and music, takes place every July deep in the heart of southern Mexico.
ONE band leader with a big white balloon! DOS hombres with firecrackers! THREE musicians! FOUR giants! All exquisitely handcrafted by the Mexican folk art masters Guillermina, Josefina, Irene, and Concepción Aguilar, in collaboration with author and scholar Cynthia Weill. Bienvenidos!


Welcome to the parade! Cynthia Weill is a professor and mentor to teachers at Columbia University's Teachers College. She also owns a non-profit, Aid to Women Artisans,  that promotes the craftwork of artisans from developing countries. Count Me In is her fourth book in the First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art Series. The Aguilar Sisters are Mexico's most beloved artisans. They learned how to make clay figurines from their mother Doña Isaura. These lively independent women are considered great masters of Mexican folk art and have been visited by Queen Elizabeth, Queen Sofia of Spain, various Mexican presidents, and Nelson Rockefeller. Their humorous ceramics of the people of their town and state are in museum collections the world over.

The next Three Kings' Day won't be celebrated until January, but I would like to recommend The Storyteller's Candle, written by  Lucía González .  During the early days of the Great Depression, New York City's first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpré, introduces the public library to immigrants living in El Barrio and hosts the neighborhood's first Three Kings' Day fiesta.

 Traditional Crafts from the Caribbean by Florence Temko

Provides instructions on how to make traditional Caribbean Island handicrafts such as Jamaican woven fish, Puerto Rican vejigante masks, and tap-tap trucks.

  25 Latino Craft Projects by Ana-Elba Pavon

* Please be aware that registration will be required for each child. You may sign up online or at the information desk at the library. This activity has been developed for school aged children. Given the difficulty of this craft, we will need parents to be present during the program for any child under the age of 5 years old. 

Additional Resources

Smithsonian Educator Resource