The author of this charming bilingual memoir is the daughter of one of Mexico’s most famous artists, Diego Rivera. All the illustrations are reproductions of his work. His daughter, quite accomplished in her own right, explains some of the pictures painted by her father (who died in 1957), many of which featured her and her family.
For example, here is her description of a picture of her childhood friend Ignacio Sanchez:
“Do you see Ignacio’s short hair and his overalls? When I was little, my father liked to keep my hair and my sister’s hair very short, and he dressed us in pants. In fact, we looked a lot like Ignacio Sanchez in this painting.”
She explains about the culture of Mexico and family life, again using pictures by her father to illustrate. She speaks of her father’s commitment to justice and equality, integrating history lessons into her own family memories:
“One of my father’s first jobs was to create murals for the Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico. He painted this mural in the main building of that institution.
The teacher holds a book in her hand. She is teaching a group of people, young and old, out in the countryside. When I was a girl, the majority of people in Mexico lived out in the country, and they often didn’t have even the basic things they needed to live. These conditions eventually led to the Mexican Revolution, when the people fought to change their government. My father believed in the Revolution, and he taught me to always stand up for my beliefs.”
At the back of the book, there are artwork credits, reproductions of real photos of the author and her family, and short biographies of Dr. Marin and her father.
Evaluation: This warm and informative book is a great way to introduce young children to the many ways in which art serves as a form of communication.
Published by Children’s Book Press, 2009
Note: The author was not the daughter of Frida Kahlo (who was Rivera’s third wife) but rather of Rivera’s second wife, Guadalupe Marin.
Reading level: Ages 6 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages