Our love fest for the picture book continues! This time with #bookloveforMayanito. Mayanito is an impressive little boy whose royal roots lead him on a wide-stretching journey. During his trip he meets all kinds of strangers, turned friends, that help him to celebrate the four corners of the world with music. Mayanito’s New Friends written by Tato Laviera and illustrated by Gabhor Utomo is a magnetizing tale, to say the least; Mayanito’s infectious personality is what gets him across seas and through the rainforest in search of a grand celebration. This beautifully gracious story is one that any bookshelf would be lucky to behold for so many reasons. To start, Imagireaders get to explore several scientific concepts in Mayanito’s New Friends. Both natural science and social science are conduits in this book along with cultural relevance and appropriation. Multiculturalism, friendship and nature rituals help tie the wonderfully integrated literal and figurative languages together, helping Imagireaders to make critical connections including text to self and text to world. It just makes sense to celebrate Mayanito’s New Friends this month during our Book Love feat. It’s an affectable story that will leave its print on the heart. Here’s the love letter one of my classes and I wrote to Mayanito.

Dear Mayanito,

What a beautiful rain you had in your story with your new friends. Your trip to find your friends was so exciting. You were very brave to go through the jungle as you did, and we were happy to see the animals welcome you. Were you scared? It didn’t seem like it. We can’t wait to find out where you will go next looking for friends. Maybe across a desert island or through the Antartic? What kind of music do you think would warm people up or cool people off?
Thank you for sharing your story with us. Happy Birthday!

With Book Love

Ms. Tiffany
My class and I are so excited about our upcoming project, inspired by Mayanito and his journey. We are going to explore the effects of music on the rainforest by playing different kinds of cultural music for our plants and observing how it affects their growth. We’re of course going to start with music from Mexico! Want to track our progress? Follow us on Instagram @Imagiread and don’t forget to read Mayanito’s New Friends and write him a letter of your own. Be sure to tag us so that we can get it to our friends over at Arte Publico Press. We’re sure they’ll be happy to share #bookloveforMayanito with him.

Until next time, happy Imagireading!


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