Introducing our newest exhibit, “Frida Kahlo, the Magnificent Artist of Mexico.” She is known for her marriage to Diego Rivera, but Frida Kahlo was a gifted artist in her own right. Her self-portraits express what words could not, and her art celebrates the colorful culture of Mexico.
Mexican Heritage and Culture Events
Photography and Video Policy
By registering for this event, you or those attending with you may be photographed or recorded on video that will be used for library promotional purposes. If you or a member of your group would not like to be photographed, please alert a staff member at the program.
Mexican Heritage and Culture Books for Kids
First Phrases - Spanish
Kids learn simple conversation starters and responses in Spanish, or can create their own unique phrases by combining building blocks of language.
Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos is based on the life of one of the world's most influential painters, Frida Kahlo, and the animals that inspired her art and life.
The fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colors. Her work brought attention to Mexican and indigenous culture.
Brown's story recounts Frida's beloved pets—two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn—and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal.
Off We Go to Mexico!
In rhyming text, describes various sights and activities that tourists would enjoy in Mexico, and includes vocabulary words in Spanish and English.
Dream big with the Latinitas in Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers.
Discover how 40 influential Latinas became the women we celebrate today! In this collection of short biographies from all over Latin America and across the United States, Juliet Menéndez explores the first small steps that set the Latinitas off on their journeys. With gorgeous, hand-painted illustrations, Menéndez shines a spotlight on the power of childhood dreams.
Celebrate 30 influential Latinas/Latinos/Latinxs in U.S. history with Nuestra América, a fully-illustrated anthology from the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Nuestra América highlights the inspiring stories of thirty Latina/o/xs throughout history and their incredible contributions to the cultural, social, and political character of the United States.
The stories in this book cover each figure's cultural background, childhood, and the challenges and opportunities they met in pursuit of their goals. A glossary of terms and discussion question-filled reading guide, created by the Smithsonian Latino Center, encourage further research and exploration.
The Piñata That the Farm Maiden Hung
This is the bilingual story of the farm maiden and her cadre of animals, who crafted a festive piñata for a surprise birthday party.
A young girl sets out on errands for the day, and while she's gone, the farm maiden prepares a piñata from scratch with help from a boy, horse, goose, cat, sheep, and farmer. After they all fall asleep in the afternoon sun, they must scramble to finish preparations in time--just as the girl arrives back to her surprise party. Key English words change to Spanish as the cumulative verse builds to the celebratory ending. With the familiarity of "The House That Jack Built," the tale cleverly incorporates Spanish words, adding a new one in place of the English word from the previous page. This book makes learning the language easy and fun. Back matter includes a glossary, definitions, and directions for making a piñata at home.
Hace mucho tiempo—a long time ago—there lived a beautiful young woman named Adelita. So begins the age-old tale of a kindhearted young woman, her jealous stepmother, two hateful stepsisters, and a young man in search of a wife. The young man, Javier, falls madly in love with beautiful Adelita, but she disappears from his fiesta at midnight, leaving him with only one clue to her hidden identity: a beautiful rebozo—shawl. With the rebozo in place of a glass slipper, this favorite fairy tale takes a delightful twist. Tomie dePaola's exquisite paintings, filled with the folk art of Mexico, make this a Cinderella story like no other.
Learn about the history and culture of Mexico with Miguel, Dante, Hector, and the rest of your favorite characters from Coco. Clear nonfiction text presents Mexico's geography, music, art, celebrations, and more.
Whiskers, Tails & Wings
Judy Goldman retells animal folktales from five indigenous groups in Mexico--the Tarahumara, Seri, Huichol, Triqui, and Tseltal. Each story is followed by information about the featured culture, enriching readers' understanding of the diverse peoples who make up Mexico.
Fabricio VandenBroeck's lush art portrays the richness of the many peoples, animals, and places that make up Mexico.
Includes a map of Mexico, showing the location of each indigenous group. Back matter includes a glossary and tale sources, as well as an index and a bibliography.
Green Is a Chile Pepper
In this lively picture book, children discover a world of colors all around them: red is spices and swirling skirts, yellow is masa, tortillas, and sweet corn cake. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal. With rich, boisterous illustrations, a fun-to-read rhyming text, and an informative glossary, this playful concept book will reinforce the colors found in every child's day!
One Is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers (Learn to Count Books, Numbers Books for Kids, Preschool Numbers Book)
Lively picture book enumerates the joys of counting in both English and Spanish
Boisterous illustrations and rhyming text: One is a rainbow. One is a cake. One is a piñata that's ready to break! In this lively picture book, children discover a fiesta of numbers in the world around them, all the way from one to ten.
Round Is a Tortilla
In this lively picture book, children discover a world of shapes all around them: rectangles are ice-cream carts and stone metates, triangles are slices of watermelon and quesadillas. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal. With rich, boisterous illustrations, a fun-to-read rhyming text, and an informative glossary, this playful concept book will reinforce the shapes found in every child's day!
Frida Kahlo, one of the world's most famous and unusual artists is revered around the world. Her life was filled with laughter, love, and tragedy, all of which influenced what she painted on her canvases.
Great Lives in Graphics Frida Kahlo
Great Lives in Graphics: Frida Kahlo is a graphic retelling of Frida's story which gives children a colorful snapshot of her life and the world she grew up in, while educating them on everything from the Mexican revolution to the importance of self-belief.
You may already know that Frida Kahlo was an artist, but did you know she lived in a bright blue house? Or that she owned two pet spider monkeys?
Who Was Frida Kahlo?
"You can always recognize a painting by Kahlo because she is in nearly all-- A brave woman who transformed herself into a living work of art. As famous for her self-portraits and haunting imagery. She was inspired by the ancient culture and history of her beloved homeland, Mexico. Her paintings continue to inform and inspire popular culture around the world"--
Mexican Heritage and Culture Books for Teens and Adults
One of the most important artists of the twentieth century and an icon of courageous womanhood, Frida Kahlo lives on in the public imagination, where her popularity shows no signs of waning. She is renowned for both her paintings and her personal story, which were equally filled with pain and anguish, celebration and life. Thousands of words, including her own, have been written about Kahlo, but only one previous biography has recorded her fascinating, difficult life. Frida Kahlo by María Hesse offers a highly unique way of getting to know the artist by presenting her life in graphic novel form, with striking illustrations that reimagine many of Kahlo’s famous paintings.
Originally published in Spanish in 2016, Frida Kahlo has already found an enthusiastic audience in the Spanish-speaking world, with some 20,000 copies sold in just a few months. This translation introduces English-language readers to Kahlo’s life, from her childhood and the traumatic accident that would change her life and her artwork, to her complicated love for Diego Rivera and the fierce determination that drove her to become a major artist in her own right. María Hesse tells the story in a first-person narrative, which captures both the depths of Frida’s suffering and her passion for art and life.
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo
When several notebooks were recently discovered among Frida Kahlo’s belongings at her home in Coyoacán, Mexico City, acclaimed Mexican novelist F. G. Haghenbeck was inspired to write this beautifully wrought fictional account of her life. Haghenbeck imagines that, after Frida nearly died when a streetcar’s iron handrail pierced her abdomen during a traffic accident, she received one of the notebooks as a gift from her lover Tina Modotti. Frida called the notebook “The Hierba Santa Book” (The Sacred Herbs Book) and filled it with memories, ideas, and recipes.
Haghenbeck takes readers on a magical ride through Frida’s passionate life: her long and tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera, the development of her art, her complex personality, her hunger for experience, and her ardent feminism. This stunning narrative also details her remarkable relationships with Georgia O’Keeffe, Leon Trotsky, Nelson Rockefeller, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Henry Miller, and Salvador Dalí. Combining rich, luscious prose with recipes from “The Hierba Santa Book,” Haghenbeck tells the extraordinary story of a woman whose life was as stunning a creation as her art.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents' house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.
But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga's role.
Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.
But it's not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend, Lorena, and her first love (first everything), Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister's story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?
In the title story of this collection, Isabela is minding her family's restaurant, drinking her dad's beer, when Frida Kahlo and the Virgen de Guadalupe walk in. Even though they're dressed like cholas, the girl immediately recognizes Frida's uni-brow and La Virgen's crown. They want to give her advice about the quinceanera her parents are forcing on her. In fact, their lecture (don't get pregnant, go to school, be proud of your indigenous roots) helps Isabela to escape her parents' physical and sexual abuse. But can she really run away from the self-hatred they've created? These inter-related stories, mostly set in East Los Angeles, uncover the lives of a conflicted Mexican-American community. In "Sabado Gigante," Bernardo drinks himself into a stupor every Saturday night. "Aqui no es mi tierra," he cries, as he tries to ease the sorrow of a life lived far from home. Meanwhile, his son Gustavo struggles with his emerging gay identity and Maritza, the oldest daughter, is expected to cook and clean for her brother, even though they live in East LA, not Guadalajara or Chihuahua. In "Powder Puff," Mireya spends hours every day applying her make-up, making sure to rub the foundation all the way down her neck so it looks like her natural color. But no matter how much she rubs and rubs, her skin is no lighter. Estella Gonzalez vividly captures her native East LA in these affecting stories about a marginalized people dealing with racism, machismo and poverty. In painful and sometimes humorous scenes, young people try to escape the traditional expectations of their family. Other characters struggle with anger and resentment, often finding innovative ways to exact revenge for slights both real and imagined. Throughout, music, traditional and contemporary, accompanies them in the search for love and acceptance.
World Food: Mexico City
Whether you're an absolute beginner at Mexican cooking or already a pro, World Food: Mexico City is for you. This definitive and beautiful user's guide unlocks the secrets to real Mexican cuisine with more than fifty authentic, reliable recipes, while the compelling stories and photography tell the tale of the vibrant culinary capital of Latin America. You'll be taken to home kitchens, markets, and restaurants, where you'll get to know exemplary local cooks and learn how to master Mexican culinary traditions and techniques.
Every recipe--from the vivid salsa with pan-roasted tomatoes to the soul-satisfying pork stew with corn, potatoes, and green beans--provides a cook's-eye lens into real Mexico City culture. Explore easy party food such as authentic guacamole and homemade tortilla chips; satisfying first courses such as cantina-style garlic soup and beer-infused "drunken" rice; or slow-cooked masterpieces such as Mexican-style stewed zucchini. Learn how to make family-friendly meals including ancho chiles stuffed with cheese, as well as standouts such as fall-apart tender roasted lamb with pasilla chiles, or tuna tostada garnished with chipotle mayonnaise and avocado--a modern classic from the beloved restaurant Contramar.
With more than 150 photographs and a comprehensive illustrated reference chapter that tells you how to find, use, and store all the necessary ingredients, from cilantro to Mexican cheeses, World Food: Mexico City satisfies an appetite for new recipes, new ways to cook, and a new way of understanding one of the most exciting food destinations on the planet.
With her colorful style, dramatic self-portraits, hardscrabble backstory, and verve for life, Frida Kahlo remains a modern icon, captivating and inspiring artists, feminists, and art lovers more than sixty years after her death.
Forever Frida celebrates all things Frida, so you can enjoy her art, her words, her style, and her badass attitude every day. Viva Frida!
L.A. is parched, dry as a bone, and all Oscar, the weather-obsessed patriarch of the Alvarado family, desperately wants is a little rain. He’s harboring a costly secret that distracts him from everything else. His wife, Keila, desperate for a life with a little more intimacy and a little less Weather Channel, feels she has no choice but to end their marriage. Their three daughters—Claudia, a television chef with a hard-hearted attitude; Olivia, a successful architect who suffers from gentrification guilt; and Patricia, a social media wizard who has an uncanny knack for connecting with audiences but not with her lovers—are blindsided and left questioning everything they know. Each will have to take a critical look at her own relationships and make some tough decisions along the way.
With quick wit and humor, Maria Amparo Escandón follows the Alvarado family as they wrestle with impending evacuations, secrets, deception, and betrayal, and their toughest decision yet: whether to stick together or burn it all down.
Living Beyond Borders
In this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics, this celebrated group of authors share the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they continue to navigate as Mexican Americans. Living Beyond Borders is at once an eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and hopeful love letter from the Mexican American community to today's young readers.
A powerful exploration of what it means to be Mexican American.
Caramelo, Or, Puro Cuento
Sandra Cisneros, the award-winning author of the highly acclaimed The House on Mango Street and several other esteemed works, has produced a stunning new novel, Caramelo. This long-anticipated novel is an all-embracing epic of family history, Mexican history, the Mexican-American immigrant experience, and a young Mexican-American woman's road to adulthood. We hope the following questions, discussion topics, and author biography enhance your group's reading of this captivating and masterful literary work. Born the seventh child and only daughter to Zoila and Inocencio Reyes, Celaya Reyes spent her childhood traveling back and forth between her family's home in Chicago to her father's birth home in Mexico City, Mexico. Celaya's intimidating paternal grandmother, adored and revered by Celaya's father, dominates these visits, and Celaya dubs her the Awful Grandmother. Celaya's story begins one summer in Mexico when she was just a little girl, but soon her girlhood experiences segue back in time–to before Celaya was born–to her grandparents' history. Celaya traces the Awful Grandmother's lonely and unhappy childhood in a Mexico ravaged by the Mexican revolution of 1911, her meeting and ultimate union with Celaya's grandfather, Narciso Reyes (the Little Grandfather), and the birth of their first and favorite son, Celaya's father, Inocencio. Inocencio Reyes moves to the United States as a young man, and soon meets Zoila, a Mexican-American woman, with her own colorful mixed-Mexican parentage. Celaya develops the portrait of her parents' love-based, but volatile, marriage and the growth of their own Mexican-American family. After the Little Grandfather's death, the family moves the Awful Grandmother up to the United States with them, first to Chicago, then to San Antonio. Soon afterward, the Awful Grandmother dies, leaving her teenage granddaughter to struggle with her unresolved relationship with her late grandmother. Through her grandmother's history, Celaya discovers her own Mexican-American heritage, enabling her ultimately to carve out an identity of her own in the two countries she inhabits and that inhabit her–Mexico and America. As the family's self-appointed historian, or storyteller, Celaya's tale weaves Mexican social, political, and military history around intimate family secrets and the stormy and often mysterious relationships among multiple generations of family members. The marvelous, often riotous cast of characters that march through time and across the North American continent ranges from close family members to Mexican-American icons of popular culture that have random encounters with the Reyes family. The spirited, likeable characters, while at times mythological in their characteristics, are always intensely human in their flaws and emotions. While each character can claim equal footing in the Reyes web of family and history, each holds a role of differing significance in Celaya's personal odyssey of connecting to her roots and carving her future.
In this powerfully imagined, provocative novel, Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is the poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as well as an unforgettable portrait of the artist—and of art itself.
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father's restaurant, Nacho's Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans--leaving Pen to choose between not disappointing her traditional Mexican American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she's been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho's who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she's been too afraid to ask herself.
Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho's is an opportunity for just that--a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo's, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander's immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound family and himself.
Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong in order to save the place they all call home.
This stunning and poignant novel from debut author Laekan Zea Kemp explores identity, found families and the power of food, all nestled within a courageous and intensely loyal Chicanx community.
Because of our shared English language, as well as the celebrated origin tales of the Mayflower and the rebellion of the British colonies, the United States has prized its Anglo heritage above all others. However, as Carrie Gibson explains with great depth and clarity in El Norte, the nation has much older Spanish roots--ones that have long been unacknowledged or marginalized. The Hispanic past of the United States predates the arrival of the Pilgrims by a century, and has been every bit as important in shaping the nation as it exists today.
El Norte chronicles the sweeping and dramatic history of Hispanic North America from the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century to the present--from Ponce de Leon's initial landing in Florida in 1513 to Spanish control of the vast Louisiana territory in 1762 to the Mexican-American War in 1846 and up to the more recent tragedy of post-hurricane Puerto Rico and the ongoing border acrimony with Mexico. Interwoven in this stirring narrative of events and people are cultural issues that have been there from the start but which are unresolved to this day: language, belonging, community, race, and nationality. Seeing them play out over centuries provides vital perspective at a time when it is urgently needed.
In 1883, Walt Whitman meditated on his country's Spanish past: "We Americans have yet to really learn our own antecedents, and sort them, to unify them," predicting that "to that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of the most needed parts." That future is here, and El Norte, a stirring and eventful history in its own right, will make a powerful impact on our national understanding.
Many people know that Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was a Mexican artist, a feminist icon who lived in the famous Blue House and whose work includes The Two Fridas. What, perhaps, they don't know is that 55 of her 143 artworks are self-portraits; that her painting Roots holds the record for a Latin American artwork, having sold for $5.6 million in 2006; that her love letters sold for $137,000; that she married her husband twice; or that she arrived for her first solo exhibition in an ambulance. This book casts a modern eye over her life and work, with an array of irresistible facts and figures converted into infographics to reveal the artist behind the pictures.
Like Water for Chocolate
Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother's womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. She shares special points of her favorite preparations with listeners throughout the story.
This exhibit and companion programs are made possible by grant funding from the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.