¡Misión Posible: Espía fiestas y celebraciones! / Mission Possible: Spy Parties and Celebrations!

Books to Share

  • The Birthday Swap / Qué sorpresa de cumpleaños by Loretta Lopez.
  • The Last Doll / La última muñeca by Diane Gonzales Bertrand.
  • Magda's Piñata Magic / Magda y la piñata mágica by Becky Chavarría Cháirez.
  • Manuela's Gift by Kristyn Rehling Estes.
  • Salsa by Lillian Colón-Vilá.
  • Uno, dos, tres / One, Two Three by Pat Mora.

Bulletin Board

Fiesta de Libros / Book Celebration

Cut out and enlarge the piñata patterns (1 , 2 and 3) and position them at the top of the bulletin board. From colorful paper, cut out candy, toys, and books using the patterns at the end of the chapter. Place them on the bulletin board so that they appear to be raining down from the piñata. Let the children write their favorite titles on the book patterns.

Name Tags

Piñata and maracas.


Serve pan dulce, sweetbread that can be purchased at a Mexican panaderia or bakery. Some grocery stores also sell pan dulce. Serve this with milk. One of Rose's favorite memories as a child was sitting at the table with her Mom, Dad, and sisters and brother as they ate pan dulce dipped in bowls of milk. Yummm!


Los dias de la semana

(This traditional rhyme is translated into English by Rose Treviño. Raise one finger at a time for each day of the week.)

Lunes, martes, miércoles, ¡tres!

Jueves, Viernes, Sábado, ¡seis!

Domingo, siete, ¡qué fiesta es!

The Days of the Week

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, three!

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, six!

Sunday, seven, what a fiesta this is!

Aplaudir con las manos


Con esta mano derecha,

(Wave right hand)

Y esta mano izquierda,

(Wave left hand)

Se juntan las palmas para aplaudir.


Ruidoso, quedito y más quedito.

(Clap loud, then soft, then even more soft)

Clap Your Hands

(English translation by Rose Treviño.)

With this right hand

(Wave right hand)

And with this left hand,

(Wave left hand)

I put them together to clap.


Loudly, quietly, and even more quietly.

(Clap loud, then soft, then even more softly)


Bajen la pinata


Bajen la piñata,

Bajenla un tantito

Que le den de palos

Poquito a poquito

Lower the Pinata

(English translation by Rose Treviño.)

Lower the piñata,

Lower it a bit,

So that they can give it

Another little hit.

No quiero oro


No quero oro,

Ni quiero plata.

Yo lo que quiero

Es quebrar la piñata.

I Don't Want Gold

(English translation by Rose Treviño.)

I don't want gold,

I don't want silver.

What I really want

Is to break the piñata.


Las mañanitas

Estas son las mañanitas

Que cantaba el Rey David,

Pero no eran tan bonitas

Como las cantan aquí.

Despierta, mi bien, despierta,

Mira que ya amaneció,

Ya los pajarillos cantan,

La luna ya se metió.


(This traditional birthday song is recorded on De Colores by José-Luis Orozco.)

These are the songs

Sung by King David

But they weren't as pretty

As they are sung now.

Wake up, my sweet, wake up,

Look who's awoken,

The birds are singing,

And the moon is no longer shining.



Dale, dale, dale,

No pierdas el tino.

Mide la distancia

Que hay en el camino.



Strike it, strike it, strike it,

Don't lose your grip.

Measure the distance

From here to there.

Tongue Twisters

Cuando cuentes cuentos


Cuando cuentes cuentos

Cuenta cuántos cuentos cuentas,

Porque cuando cuentas cuentos

Nunca sabes cuántos cuentos cuentas.

When You Tally Tales

(English translation by Rose Treviño.)

When you tally tales

Tally total tales told,

Because when you tally tales

No telling total tales told.

Me dicen que

(By Mary Zertuche, Rose Treviño's mom, from another similar saying. Rose remembers her mother reciting this often.)

Me dicen que he dicho un dicho

A que dicho he dicho yo,

Este dicho está muy bien dicho

Por a haberlo dicho yo.

Someone Said I

Someone said I, said a saying

Said a saying so said I

Such a saying so well said

Seeing how I said it so.

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Doña Blanca

This is a traditional circle game and there is no limit to the number of players. The words can be sung or chanted. Here is how to play. Choose a Doña Blanca and a Jicotillo* (hornet). Doña Blanca stands inside the circle and Jicotillo remains on the outside. The children join hands and circle around Doña Blanca as they sing or chant. After the second verse, Jicotillo tries to break through the clasped hands to catch Doña Blanca. When Jicotillo succeeds in entering the circle, she chases Doña Blanca. Doña Blanca cannot run outside of the circle. When she has been caught, Doña Blanca chooses a new Jicotillo before she becomes part of the circle. The old Jicotillo is now the new Doña Blanca.

Doña Blanca está cubierta

con pilares de oro y plata.

Romperemos un pilar

Para ver a Doña Blanca.

Quién es ese Jicotillo

que anda en pos de Doña Blanca?

Yo soy ése, yo soy ése

Doña Blanca all surrounded

By pillars of silver and gold.

Break a column now

If Doña Blanca you will hold.

Who is this hornet

Who chases Doña Blanca?

I am (s)he, I am (s)he

Who's trying to catch her!

*Jicotillo - (hee coh TEE oh)


Papel picado / Paper Cut-outs


  • Tissue paper in assorted colors
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Glue


Papél picado is used as a decoration for all types of festivities and celebrations from the Day of the Dead to Christmas to birthday parties. The illustrations at the end of the chapter will help as you make this craft. Cut out 6" X 6" squares of tissue paper in assorted colors. Distribute one or more sheets to each child. The children fold each sheet of tissue paper in half, then in half again, and again, and again. Leaving one inch at the top edge uncut, they then cut small shapes such as triangles, stars, hearts, and squares from both sides of the folded edges without cutting all the way through to the other side. They unfold the tissue paper once and cut out more shapes along the folded edges and then unfold it again and again and cut out more shapes until the sheet of tissue paper is completely unfolded. Next, they place a small amount of glue on the top edge of the sheet and fold it over a piece of string or ribbon approximately twelve inches in length. Tie the sheets of papél picado together and hang the fiesta banner!

papel picado

Audio Recordings

  • "Cumpleaño" on Infantiles por Hugo Líscano y Javier Galué, Vol. 1 by Hugo Líscano.
  • "Las mañanitas" on De colores by José-Luis Orozco.
  • "La piñata" on De colores by José-Luis Orozco.


  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. (6 minutes)
  • Winter Holiday Stories. (27 minutes)

Word Search

Fiestas / Parties

word search

















Web Sites

Brooklyn Expedition: Latin America

Hispanics in American History

Latin American Network Information Center

Little Explorers

Multi Cultural Calendar

Web Sites in Spanish for Children

Bienvenidos Amigos!

Diego Rivera Museo Virtual

Libros para niños en Español

Mundo Latino

Vistas del sistema solar

Zoo aquarium de la casa de campo de Madrid

Professional Resources

Although I did not use many of these for this bilingual chapter, they are books that will be very helpful in gathering additional ideas.

  • Arroz con leche: Popular Songs and Rhymes from Latin America by Lulu Delacre.
  • Las Navidades: Popular Christmas Songs from Latin America by Lulu Delacre.
  • The Emerald Lizard: Fifteen Latin American Tales to Tell by Pleasant DeSpain.
  • Thirty-three Multicultural Tales to Tell by Pleasant DeSpain.
  • Hispanic Games and Rhymes: Rimas y juegos en Español by Cynthia Downs and Gloria Erickson
  • Tortillitas para mamá: and Other Nursery Rhymes by Margot Griego.
  • Library Services to Youth of Hispanic Heritage by Barbara Immroth.
  • Los pollitos dicen: juegos, rimas y canciones infantiles de paises de habla Hispana / The Baby Chicks Sing: Traditional Games, Nursery Rhymes and Songs from Spanish Speaking Countries by Nancy Abraham Hall.
  • Momentos mágicos / Magic Moments by Olga Loya.
  • Tuck-Me-In Tales: Bedtime Stories From Around the World by Margaret Read MacDonald.
  • Hands-On Latin America: Art Activities for All Ages by Yvonne Y. Merrill.
  • De colores and Other Latin-American Folk Songs for Children by José-Luis Orozco.
  • Diez deditos / Ten Little Fingers and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America by José-Luis Orozco.
  • Teatro! Hispanic Plays for Young People by Angel Vigil.
  • Programming with Latino Children's Materials by Tim Wadham.
  • Plays From Hispanic Tales: One-Act, Royalty-Free Dramatizations for Young People, from Hispanic Stories and Folktales by Barbara Winther.


Texas Reading Club 2003 Programming Manual / Mission Possible Spy Book!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011