Diego Rivera: His World and Ours

Last updated Sunday, August 6, 2017

Author: Duncan Tonatiuh
Date of Publication: 2011
ISBN: 0810997312
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2017

Synopsis: This charming book introduces one of the most popular artists of the twentieth century, Diego Rivera, to young readers. It tells the story of Diego as a young, mischievous boy who demonstrated a clear passion for art and then went on to become one of the most famous painters in the world. Duncan Tonatiuh also prompts readers to think about what Diego would paint today. Just as Diego's murals depicted great historical events in Mexican culture or celebrated native peoples, if Diego were painting today, what would his artwork depict? How would his paintings reflect today's culture?

Note to readers:
•  Talk to the children about following their dreams.
•  Talk to the children about your cultural history.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever been to a museum and looked at different paintings?
•  How is the time Diego Rivera lived different from today?
•  What would you paint to display today's society and culture?


•  Quetzalcoatl - A Meso-American deity (a person of God); the plumed serpent god of the Toltec and Aztec civilizations.
•  Spanish conquistadores - Spanish soldiers; a conqueror, especially one of the Spanish conquerors of Mexico and Peru in the 16th century.
•  luchadores - a person who competes in lucha libre wrestling.
•  La Zandunga / La Sandungai - Mexican-folk music
•  mural - artwork or a large wall

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  If you were Diego Rivera today, what would you paint?
•  Why do you think Diego Rivera painted historical events?
•  Diego loved to paint. What do you love to do? (play soccer, cook, read, draw, color....)
•  Where is your favorite place to visit? How would you draw it?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw and color a picture that would make a good mural. Use some paintings in the book for inspiration.
•  Draw an event that you saw and want to remember. (your birthday party, playing in the park, first day of school, a vacation ..)
•  Check our craft ideas for August on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  Dance and sing along to the Spanish folklore song.

*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!