How the Rainbow Came to Be

How the Rainbow Came to Be
Cómo nació el arco iris


The author magically combines scientific facts with a fable about cooperation in this enchanting tale.
In the beginning, Earth has no color until Red, Blue, and Yellow decide that a gray planet is unsightly. Eventually they each realize the importance of mixing their separate hues in order to create a colorful planet. Excellent for discussing cooperation, solidarity, and the value of diversity, this book is also a great springboard for exploring primary and secondary colors.

One of the beloved titles of the series Stories the Year ‘Round, or in Spanish, Cuentos para todo el año. The complete stories of the series are:

A Rose with Wings
A Surprise for Mother Rabbit
The Empty Piñata

Rosa alada
La sorpresa de Mamá Coneja
La piñata vacía

How the Rainbow Came to Be
After the Storm
In the Cow’s Backyard

Cómo nació el arco iris
Después de la tormenta
La hamaca de la vaca

The Kite
What Are Ghosts Afraid Of?
“Turkey for Thanksgiving?” “No, Thanks!”

El papalote
El susto de los fantasmas
–¿Pavo para la Cena de Gracias? –No, gracias.

The Golden Cage
I Don’t Want to Melt
It Wasn’t Me

La jaula dorada
¡No quiero derretirme!
No fui yo


There is a special value to listening to a books read by the author. Such recordings show just where the author wishes to convey feelings and emotions, emphasis and suspense. When the text is put to music it acquires additional interest for children.

I particularly like to read aloud and to record my readings so, for me, it was particularly joyful to record these twelve stories in English and Spanish.

The stories can be found in individual cassettes in English and Spanish, one for each book of the series, or in CDs in English and Spanish versions. Each of the CDs contains the twelve stories of the series.

A Special Bonus

Because these stories have been so beloved by children, I conceived the idea of given them an extra dimension. I have rewritten the 12 stories in Spanish in verse format. And Suni Paz, with her incomparable creativity, has put them to music. So the Spanish cassettes and CD contain not only the story as published in the book told by me, but also the story retold in verse form and sung by Suni.


The twelve books of this series are some of my best well known books among bilingual teachers and their students. They are also very dear to my heart since I have had such extraordinary responses to them.

Once, while visiting a school in the Bronx, I was telling the students the stories behind my stories. One student asked me how this book had come about. I answered that I honestly did not think there was a story behind the creation of this book, that I really did not know what had inspired it.

Then another child raised his hand and gave me, in all innocence, the greatest accolade. He said with conviction: “But, I do know where this story came from.” And when I asked him to explain, he said: “Those three colors are you, your friend Suni Paz, and Viví Escrivá. The three of you are making the world more beautiful for children, with your stories, your songs and your illustrations.” It was a moment I will never forget!


School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 4– Appearing at a time when the whole world was just black, white, and different shades of gray, three colors–red, blue, and yellow–decide to make a contribution to the planet. The blue begins first and paints the rivers, the sky, and some birds. Red follows by painting strawberries and apples and another kind of bird. Yellow, believing the other two colors are lost without him, gives color to the sun and the sunflowers. Then they combine to create more colors. The story is simply told and illustrated with brilliant watercolors. The text is short and printed in bold type.


If you have enjoyed reading or sharing this book, I would very much like to hear from you. Please click here to send your comments.