I read Rainbow Weaver with my daughter for bedtime last night and enjoyed it immensely. And bonus: each page is presented with both English and Spanish text.
Ixchel wants to follow in her family’s footsteps and learn how to weave on backstrap looms like her Mayan ancestors have done for thousands of years. Ixchel’s motivation is more intrinsic, she is eager to earn money for her books and schooling. But Ixchel’s mother regards her as too young, citing she is too busy to teach Ixchal and besides, there isn’t any extra thread to spare for her to practice on.
Determined and left to her own devices, Ixchal improvises, gathering different sized sticks and scraps of string together to fashion a makeshift loom. The other women of the village look on skeptically but Ixchal ignores their comments. After experimenting with blades of grass and bits of wool clinging to bushes besides the sheep’s path, she tries the colorful plastic garbage bags that litter her village (discarded from passing vehicles or people returning from market).
After collecting, washing, and cutting the plastic bags into his strips, she realizes she has found a suitable medium that is strong when woven and beautifully vibrant in color. Her rainbow creations shine brilliant in the sunshine, with reds as bright as flowers, blues as clear as the sky and yellows as golden As corn.
Ixchel’s mother is delighted and surprised, as are the fellow villagers who rejoice in finding their countryside cleaner and prettier. A great tale for kids about finding a way to realize your vision- even when you’re turned down or the odds are against you.