Sundays on Fourth Street

Presented by Allyson Ottensmeier

Book Information

Sundays on Fourth Street

Author: Amy Costales

Illustrator: Elaine Jerome

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Topic of book: Time spent with loved ones is the most important.

Awards nominated or received:

  • Named to the 2011-2012 Tejas Book Award List

Costales, A.(2009).Sundays on fourth street.Houston, Texas: Piñata Books.

About the Author

Amy Costales grew up in Spain along the Mexican- California border. She has taught the Spanish language in many countries including the United States, Thailand, and many more. Amy believes that all children should be able to read and see the many diversities that our country has, and through her publications children will start to see the Hispanic culture. She currently lives in Oregon with her husband and daughter. She continues to write picture books for young children to see the Hispanic culture. I encourage you to follow the link above by clicking on Amy Costales.

About the Illustrator

Elaine Jerome is an award winning illustrator, who takes pride in her watercolor paintings. Elaine has a background in both art and science from from the Academy of Art in San Fransisco. She loves to get in detail and make the pictures come to life. Her and her family currently reside in Lake Tahoe.
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Above is an illustration from the book, Sundays on Fourth Street. Elaine used watercolors to portray the meaning of the text. She pays great attention to detail to make the people's faces come to life. The pictures may not always match up to the text in this story, but they, too, carry along meaning.

Criteria for Highly Quality Multicultural Literature

Illustrations should reflect accurate cultural setting. The illustrations in the picture book allow the scenes to come to life for the readers. Each individual cousin has been portrayed to really match the character descriptions from the text. The amount of detail of the multiple street scenes depict the settings of Fourth Street to a tee. A reader would easily be able to feel like they could see the actual Fourth Street because of how the illustrator puts together multiple watercolors on one page.

Themes should be consistent with the values, beliefs, customs, traditions, and conflicts of the specific cultural group. Spending time with family is important for the Hispanic culture. The tradition of going to visit Fourth Street every Sunday is a tradition that many families share. Fourth Street is full of vendors, dancing, and food. The traditions and customs of the Hispanic culture is seen throughout this picture book.

Language should reflect distinctive vocabulary, style, and patterns of speech of the cultural group. This book is a bilingual book that allows for Spanish speaking children to read and understand the content. The vocabulary and speaking style of the Hispanic culture is seen on each page. The speaking style can heard when reading aloud, because the words that are to be read are carefully put together for the reader to get a full sense of the Hispanic speaking culture.

Lesson Plan Idea for Sundays on Fourth Street

Standard:RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Objective: The student will interpret the illustrations to describe the Hispanic culture.

Lesson Procedure:

  • Lesson begins by having the children draw their family, house, or something that relates to their home life. The drawings should be shared to the class. While they are sharing the children should make inferences about certain things they see in their peer's pictures that could help us describe what the student is trying to portray.
  • The teacher should share with the students that as we read our story they should look for key descriptions from the illustrations that could help us describe the Hispanic/Mexican culture. They should look for things that is especially relevant to the Hispanic/Mexican culture (dancing, food, how characters are dressed, street scenes etc.)
  • Read aloud the children's book and pausing every so often to draw student's attention to the illustrations. Help them pick out key details the first couple of times, and then allow the students to take over that role. They should notice the Hispanic sense of decorating, family time, key foods , wearing boots/sombreros, fiesta signs, the band in the streets, key outfits the characters are wearing, and the Pinata. When the students take over noticing the details in the illustrations, have them point them out so that other students can notice them, too.
  • After reading the story, students should fill out an Exit Slip. The Exit Slip should have some sort of writing prompt at the top (I learned, based off the illustrations in Sundays on Fourth Street, that the Hispanic/Mexican culture has/does....) The students should try and write down at least three things they have gained from the illustrations to relay the details of the story.

Allyson Ottensmeier

Sundays on Fourth Street by Allyson Ottensmeier