Thanks Laura Beth Menser for introducing me to a bi-lingual book.
Brown, M. (2011). Marisol McDonald doesn’t match. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press.
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match, by Monica Brown, is a colorful bilingual (Spanish and English), multicultural children’s book about a biracial, Peruvian-Scottish-American young girl who likes the idea of mismatched things. Marisol loves to wear green polka dots and purple strips. She likes to take peanut butter and jelly burritos for lunch. She speaks Spanish, English, and sometimes both. She writes her first name in cursive and her last name in print. Marisol’s peers do not understand her mismatched choices. One day she decides to match everything, but she finds out she doesn’t enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or wearing clothes that are the same color. Her teacher, Ms. Apple, gives her a note at the end of the day that says she likes her just the way she is. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens at the end of the story—will Marisol choose to match or mismatch things?
The book won the 2012 Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor Award and was listed as a 2012 ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Notable Book. The illustrator, Sara Palacios, used mixed media illustrations throughout the book to create bubbly illustrations and combine the English and Spanish cultures. She used Spanish newspaper print on different objects in the book, which include: a bird (pg. 2), soccer ball (pg. 5, pg. 21), a store named Elena’s (pg. 5), a cow pepper shaker (pg. 8), pitcher (pg. 9), Marisol’s apron (pg. 22), Ms. Apple’s skirt (pg. 23), and different buildings (pg. 24-25).
I found this book by searching the 2012 Pura Bepre Award List on the ALSC website. After reading this book, I would strongly recommend using it to teach students (Kindergarten through 2nd grade) the theme of the book, which is, “It is important to respect others’ cultures and embrace each others’ differences.”
On the author’s website, I found an Activity Kit that goes along with the story Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match. It includes activities such as discussing our ancestors’ heritage, using a jigsaw puzzle template to create an illustrated puzzle of the things that make you YOU, filling out a recipe card with your special family recipe, and matching English and Spanish words from the story. When you go to this link (http://www.monicabrown.net/books/marisol.html), click on the words “Activity Link” next to the globe. It will open as a PDF file on your computer.
I used the text-to-self strategy in this book to make a connection with my own background and personal experience. The quote I chose was, “My name is Marisol McDonald and I don’t match because…I don’t want to!” (pg. 26). This quote reminds me of what it feels like to be a Christian in today’s society. A lot of times, my Christian beliefs don’t “match up” with society’s view on standards. I feel mismatched when I choose to stand up for my beliefs, and go against what society says is right. I believe the text-to-self strategy would be a wonderful technique to use with your students to encourage them to make real world connections with the books they read.
A BIG question you could ask your students is, “How do you relate to Marisol McDonald in this story?”