Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) is one of the most celebrated days in the Mexican calendar, but its history and significance are not often fully understood. In the mid 19th century, Mexico was in crisis. The French emperor Napoleon III, using the pretext that Mexico was not paying off its debt to European powers, decided to invade and annex it. One of the decisive battles in Mexico’s defeat of the French occurred on the fifth of May. Consequently, this day has become a symbol of Mexican pride and independence and continues to be celebrated wherever Mexicans live. In Mexico, villagers reenact the events, playing both sides. This colorful book combines historical accounts with a photographic record of one of the contemporary reenactments, in the village of San Miguel Tlaixpan, to teach children what the holiday means today. It provides a rich source for activities and role-playing that will bring this history alive.
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Illustrated with historical engravings and photographs of a contemporary reenactment, this book provides a basic explanation of the Mexican national celebration of Cinco de Mayo and the Battle of Puebla that it commemorates. Be aware that this is a translation, originally published in Mexico for an audience of Mexican children. Only the information on the flaps of the book jacket and in the short summary explanation on the final page seems to have been adjusted for a wider audience. References to unfamiliar Mexican figures and patriotic statements such as "our country, Mexico," and "We won!" may make this book somewhat awkward for U.S. students to use. However, Cinco de Mayo is increasingly celebrated in the U.S. by Mexican communities, and source material is extremely difficult to locate, especially illustrated and at a basic level. Recommended for purchase where needed. Annie AyresFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 2-4 This holiday commemorates a battle in which outnumbered Mexican troops managed to defeat the invading French at Puebla in 1862. This book presents a simplified account of the battle, based on war reports from the Mexican army, interspersed with information about the reenactment held each year in San Miguel Tlaixpan. The illustrations consist of hand-colored French and Mexican engravings along with full-color photographs of a contemporary celebration. There is some confusion resulting from the shifts between past and present. Dianne MacMillan's Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo (Enslow, 1997), which is illustrated with photographs, gives a more detailed account of both the battle and the holiday. Pam Gosner, formerly at Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Groundwood Books (Toronto), 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 29 pages. 9.50x7.80x0.40 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 1422354644