Sunday, July 8, 2007

Diego by Jonah Winter #17

Winter, J. (1991). Diego. Illustrations by Jeanette Winter. New York: Alfred A. Knope, Incorporated.

Book Type/Pages:


Grade Level:

Kindergarten through third grades

Curriculum Links:


Author Credibility:

Jonah Winter has written several other children’s books, including one about Diego Rivera’s wife, Frida Kahlo. In the author’s note, he gives more biographical information on Diego Rivera’s life.


New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award
Reading Rainbow Book

Book Summary:

This book is about the life of Diego Rivera and how it influenced his art. Diego was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. His twin, Carlos, died before he turned two years old. Diego then fell ill and went to live in the mountains with an Indian healer while recovering. Upon his return home, he began drawing. As he grew older, he drew everyday things and people that he saw at home in Mexico. As an adult, he traveled to Europe to study painting. He never forgot Mexico, and he returned home to paint large murals of everyday life in Mexico.

National/State Standards:

National Art Education Standards:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others


The illustrations were done by the author’s wife, Jeanette Winter. The illustrations appear to be watercolor and collage. Each page has a large illustration with accompanying text in English and Spanish. The illustrations are colorful and appear almost cartoon-like. Each illustration is surrounded by a decorative border. The illustrations are beautifully done.

Access Features:

Important access features in this book include Spanish translation of the text on each page and an author’s note with additional biographical information on Diego Rivera. The author’s note is also translated in Spanish.

Writing Style:

The text is written very simplistically with one to two sentences per page. The writing style is conversational and informal in tone.

Use in My Classroom:

I would use this book as a part of unit on Mexico or artist’s biographies.

My Response to the Book:

I thought this was a good book. It would be good to use to show some diversity in the area of art. I enjoyed the easy to read text and colorful illustrations. The accompanying text in Spanish was great as well. I have read another book to students with English and Spanish text and they enjoyed hearing both read aloud.

Related Texts:

Other books by Jonah Winter:
The 39 Apartments of Ludwig Van Beethoven
Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates

1 comment:

I love nonfiction said...

It would be fun to find a book with reproductions of his murals and then have the class or groups of students plan and paint a mural of their own. You could discuss how murals often reflect the culture and important societal issues.