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La Mariposa



Last updated Friday, June 27, 2008

Author: Francisco Jimenez
Date of Publication: 2000
ISBN: 0618073175
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2008

Synopsis: (From Parents' Choice) A young Spanish-speaking boy struggles to maintain his sense of wonder and his thirst for learning despite barriers of language and poverty. Remarkably, there are no villains -- and no easy answers -- in this realistic, sympathetic narrative. Bold illustrations match the story's tone. A Spanish glossary is included. A 1999 Parents' Choice® Recommendation.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What does La Mariposa mean? (Butterfly)
•  Have you ever seen a butterfly?
•  On the cover, where is the boy playing/flying? (In the fields)

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you know anyone that has trouble understanding English?
•  Have you tried to help that person?
•  Where is Francisco from?
•  What kind of work did Francisco’s parents do?
•  Are you allowed to wear baseball caps or hats in school?
•  What words did Francisco learn first?
•  Why did Francisco get headaches in class and how did he avoid them?
•  Who were Francisco’s friends and how did they become friends?
•  How did Curtis and Francisco become friends? Can you make friends with people that are different from you? That speak a different language?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a butterfly using all the colors in the box.
•  Fold paper in 3 and draw the stages of a butterfly–caterpillar; cocoon; butterfly

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!