Maya’s Blanket – La Manta De Maya

Maya's Blanket 61M7G-JNf9L__SX445_BO1,204,203,200_Maya’s Blanket/La Manta De Maya

Monica Brown, Author

David Diaz, Illustrator

Children’s Book Press, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, Fiction, Aug. 15, 2015

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Bilingual, Blanket, Creativity, Recycling, Family traditions and relationships, Love, Latino, Multicultural

Opening: “Little Maya Morales had a special manta that she loved very much. The blanket was blue and green, with purple butterflies that Abuelita had stitched with her own two hands when Maya was just a baby.”

Synopsis: Maya’s grandmother stitches a beautiful blanket for her as a baby and she loves her manta very much. The blanket becomes worn and Maya helps her Abuelita sew a new dress from the fabric. When Maya outgrows the dress, they make a skirt for her to wear. Over time the skirt is repurposed into a shawl, a scarf,  and a bookmark. One day Maya loses her bookmark and finds a creative way to keep alive the memory of her beloved manta.

Why I like this book:

Monica Brown’s heartwarming story celebrates family traditions, love, creativity, and recycling.  It is bilingual, written in both English and Spanish on double-spread pages.  The English text is sprinkled with Spanish words.

Children will delight in the use of repetition each time the blanket is made into another item and will chime along as you read, “So with her own two hands and Abuelita’s help, Maya made her falda (skirt) that was her vestido (dress) that was her manta into a rebozo (shawl) that she loved very much.” They will also have fun predicting what happens next.

This beautiful Latino story is based on a traditional Yiddish folk song about a coat that is remade into something else. In writing the story, Monica Brown honors both her Jewish and Latino heritage in her lyrical and lively storytelling. The ending is so charming, I won’t give it away.

David Diaz’s illustrations are richly textured, colorful, and bold. Each double-page spread conveys an energy that jumps off the pages. Children will enjoy watching Maya’s magical journey unfold through his artwork.

Resources:  There is a fun Author’s Note and Glossary of Spanish words in the back pages.  Children usually have a favorite blanket, stuffed animal or toy at home. Ask them share stories about their item. Encourage them to think about how they could reuse or recycle their favorite item into something else. Older children may want to write a story or a poem.

Monica Brown is the author of many award-winning picture books, including Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match. Visit Monica Brown at her website.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

33 thoughts on “Maya’s Blanket – La Manta De Maya

  1. What a beautiful story! My son’s own baby blanket has been stitched and restitched and the satin trim is hanging on by threads. However, he will not part with it.

  2. How lovely that the author has managed to write a story honoring both her Latina and Jewish heritage. I know the original story well in many forms.

  3. What a perfect picture book to share! This ticks all of the boxes for me: grandparent/grandchild connections, multicultural/multi-lingual, retelling of a classic tale, recycling. I cannot wait to read this book and share it with my now-grown children who each received a blankie at birth from Grandma.

  4. This book is so appealing, in its illustrations and its storytelling about how a precious object can be transformed as a child grows. I also wrote a book featuring a child’s blanket and its role in creative play and comfort, especially as the boy’s older sister gets cancer and goes through her treatment. “Daniel and His Starry Night Blanket: A Story of Illness and Sibling Love” is for families on a tough journey through pediatric illness who are juggling the needs of young healthy children and their ill child.Patricia Tilton reviewed it on 9/25/15. Please check it out if you know a family it might help.

    • Yes, it is a different take on repurposing a favorite item. Your story is equally as poignant, with it’s emphasis on the kindness of a brother towards his ill sister, when he shares his blanket in a special way.

    • That is fantastic! You must be a master at repurposing clothing items in your sewing room. Know you’d love the book! I thought there was a PPBF link today. Thought there won’t be one next week because of the contest.

  5. Sounds beautiful! I’ve been weaving baby blankets, and it’s nice to think they will stay with the child in various forms. This is the perfect book to accompany the blankets!

    • Yes, this is a perfect book to accompany a blanket gift. My daughter still has a blanket my mother made for her. She repurposed it as a blanket for her dolls, which are packed away and will be given to her children.

  6. Pingback: Perfect Picture Book Friday – Big Friends – Susanna Leonard Hill

  7. When my Friends mother died , they gave me and some others a gift. They made a silhouette of her face and then used material from a dress I remembered her wearing to make padded silhouette, Pasted on wood, it became a picture on an easel. I had been a church visitor to the mother for years.
    I also wrote a book called “Nana, I miss you” for parents and children when a grandmother dies of cancer.

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