Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

Linda Lowery
Illustrator:  Barbara Knutson 
For ages 5 to 8
Lerner, 2005   ISBN: 978-1575057644

Today Cinco de Mayo is a fiesta day, a day of celebration and parties. In 1861 things were very different. Mexico was finally free after many years of foreign rule and war but just across the border in America a civil war was causing a great deal of trouble for the American President, Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln was very worried that the French Emperor, Napoleon, would interfere in the conflict, taking the side of the South. In the end Napoleon decided to attack Mexico thinking that this would give him a good route into the South. Naturally the Mexican president, Benito Juarez, did not care for this plan and he and President Lincoln decided that their only hope was to work together as much as they could.

When the French soldiers landed in Mexico they greatly outnumbered the Mexican soldiers but the Mexican people had much more to loose than their French invaders. And so on May 5th the Mexican soldiers were joined in battle by farmers armed with farm implements and machetes. They won the battle that day and though the conflict continued for three more years, May 5th came to mean a great deal for the Mexican people from that day forward.

In this excellent little book readers not only will find out the history behind this holiday but they will also find out how the day is celebrated in Mexico and America and how these two countries are tied together by this special day. Collage style artwork illustrates the text and a glossary of Spanish words can be found at the back of the book. This is one of the titles in the On my own holidays series.