The Kite

The Kite
El papalote


Both good and bad events occur when a mother decides to make a kite for her four children. This disarming story provides a pattern that children can follow to create their own books. It is also a natural opportunity to discover that families come in different shapes and sizes, as the class explores how family traditions are passed on through generations.

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 sang by Suni.


This book is very much based on real experiences of my children’s early years. Kites were a very important part of my own childhood. The joy they brought began in the process of making them. My father was very clever with his hands and could make wonderful kites. Then came the fun of letting them soar in the sky.

I have written extensively about these memories in the book Barriletes, from the series Libros con Alma.

When my own children were growing up I wanted to give them the same joy I had derived from flying kites. But, alas!, I wasn’t as clever with my hands as my father had been. And building a kite was anything but easy for me!

The anecdote of being convinced by the children to bring home a stray cat did not happen in conjunction with flying kites, but it did happen. More than once.

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 the inspiration for most of them comes from my own children’s childhood. I hope you will enjoy this book as much as the teachers who have shared with me their students’ enthusiasm. See An Author’s Study for an example of an activity in response to this book.

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