Cinco de Mayo: Yesterday and Today

April 18, 2010 at 2:30 am Leave a comment

Cinco de Mayo: Yesterday and Today
by Maria Cristina Urrutia and Rebeca Orozco (Hardcover, 29 pages, 1999)

May 5th is the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates the Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1852. Though it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day, it is a day to celebrate Mexican heritage, especially in the United States, with education, food and dance.

Cinco de MayoIn “Cinco de Mayo: Yesterday and Today,” learn about one of the most celebrated days in the Mexican calendar. Using historical sources and the photographic record of a contemporary reenactment, children learn what the holiday commemorates and what it means today.

In the mid-19th century Mexico was in a crisis. Using the pretext that Mexico was not paying off its debt to European powers, the French emperor Napoleon III decided to invade and annex the country.

The Mexicans fought back and eventually defeated the French. One of the decisive battles took place on the fifth of May. As a result, this day has become a symbol of Mexican pride and independence and it continues to be celebrated wherever Mexicans live. Illustrations.

The North American Montessori School lists this book among their “suggested reading” for Cinco de Mayo.

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