Pat Mora has always been one of my favorite children’s authors because she brings a diverse voice to stories that are loved by all children. Today I’ll share our favorite Pat Mora stories, and some activities to learn about the desert of the Southwest (US). Celebrate multicultural literature as you learn about west Texas’ landscape and cultures with Pat Mora!
Pat Mora, Children’s Author
Pat Mora was born in El Paso, Texas, right on the border of the United States and Mexico. Like many children in the area, she grew up in a bilingual and bicultural home, and can speak and write in both English and Spanish. Mora brings her Mexican-American culture alive in her incredible children’s books, which are often set in the dry desert and rocky mountains of her childhood. Often bilingual with Latino characters, Mora writes about families and kids in every day life. For example,
Pat Mora has three children, and has been a teacher and worked in other educational roles. She is the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Poetry Fellowship, a Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship, and three Southwest Book Awards.
Our Favorite Books by Pat Mora
Desert Habitat Activity
My family and I have driven the long drive through the Chihuahuan Desert from Texas to Mexico City, and the immense change in the landscape has piqued the interest of my kids. After we got home one year, we took out several books about the desert, including The Desert is My Mother/ El Desierto es Mi Madre, and Listen to the Desert/ Oye al Desierto by Pat Mora. The books inspired us to make a desert poster/placemat.
First, we mixed sand into brown and green paint and the kids painted the desert landscape they had seen on the drive and in the books. The textured mountains and features dried bumpy and rough, and the kids loved to run their hands across it. Next, we googled desert animals. I let each of the kids pick out their favorites to print, cut out, and glue onto their landscape.
We labelled the animals in Spanish, and laminated the posters– and still have them hanging in our kitchen!
We are representing Texas as a part of a project called Booking Across the USA. You will find an author from every state, with books and activities for kids here.