Discoveries in the San Joaquin Valley Grapevines

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Leah, a Mexican-American author, shares her childhood memories as a seven-year-old girl when she assisted her older brother Juan-Jose picking grapes in the San Joaquin Valley of California. In order for Leah to help her way through the grapevines, she uses her imagination with the interesting creatures she encounters. She mentally begins to blend familiar insects, such as a caterpillar, grasshopper, dragonfly, bumblebee, butterfly, and one reptile, a lizard into new comical characters of her own. It was her way of working but also using her innovative imagination to help pass the time. The vineyard became her canvas of entertainment. At the end of the day she finishes work with a fun, ingenious twist. This book is a great example of a culturally-specific book where children see themselves, their families, and their values in print, and the classroom develops a multi-cultural focus. Research has shown exposure to multi-cultural books have many enriching benefits for all children to be able to resolve, maintain, and understand cross-cultural relationships and beliefs. This book is also an excellent resource for teaching about agriculture, perseverance, insects, culture, and the repeated phrases encourages language skills for beginning readers.

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