Written by: Jonah Winter
Illustrated by: Ana Juan
Discuss what it is that your child sees on the front cover and in the illustrations throughout the story. Ask questions like:
What do you see on the cover?
Why do you think Frida is riding on a bird?
What do you think will happen in this story?
Talk About Your Child's Hobbies
What is your favorite hobby? How does it make you feel when you _______?
Let your child know that this story is about a real person, Frida Kahlo. Say that she was an important Mexican painter who overcame serious obstacles and produced incredible pieces of art. Say that this is the story of how her childhood influenced the woman and painter that she became.
As You Read
Potentially Frightening Characters
Be aware that there are some of the illustrations feature potentially scary or strange characters. Inform your child that these characters are common in Mexican folk art (namely the skeletons and little devils). Discuss how your child feels about these characters and how they interact with Frida.
Frida found relief in her artwork, so ask your child about what brings him/her relief when experiencing something troubling. Ask, "When you're upset, what do you like to do? How does it make you feel better?"
Take the time to stop when your child comes across unfamiliar words and allow him/her to use the illustrations and text to glean their meanings. For example, if your child doesn't know the word TROLLEY, stop at the part in the story when Frida gets into her accident. Ask, "Where is the bus? What is in this picture that could have run into the bus? That's right, and that is a trolley." Another word in Frida that could be new for your child is VIVA.
Summarize and Interpret
Talk to your child about the story and discuss what s/he learned about Frida Kahlo.
Where was Frida from?
What happened in her life that made her start painting?
How did it help her feel better?
What did she like to paint?
Talk About the Author and Illustrator's Notes
Take a moment to read the notes by the Author and Illustrator located in the back of the book. There is a lot of interesting information about Frida Kahlo's life and the illustrators inspiration for the pictures.
Activity: Self Portrait
Supplies: paper, a pen, a mirror and paint
Frida Kahlo is famous for her self-portraits, so have your child create one of his/her own. Also, ask him/her to express a certain emotion in the image. Frida Kahlo used her paintings to express her own sadness, but your child may choose to have his/her image look happy, confused, silly, etc. When the painting is done, work together to write your child's name and then a description of what the painting portrays.
Check This Out
Look at these websites for more information on Mexico and some of Frida Kahlo's works. You might want to screen the paintings as some of her works can be graphic, but looking at some of her more child-appropriate works will give your child more context and a better idea of her artistic style.