Dona Flor

Written by Pat Mora and Illustrated by Raul Colon

Dona Flor

The read aloud is planned for fourth graders. "Dona Flor" is a picture book about a giant women with a great big heart. She also helps readers learn valuable lessons like love and respect. This book has been selected for several awards, including:

The Golden Kite

Pura Beipre

Evaluation Criteria for Multicultural Children’s Literature

The picture book demonstrates rich cultural details with its incorporation of spanish words such as "pueblo" and "casa". Furthermore, with the books focus on respecting neighbors and loving one another, it provides in depth-treatment of cultural issues. Moreover, the book provides an appealing format for children with its pictures done in watercolor, etching, and colored pencils.


The author who wrote Dona Flor, Pat Mora, was inspired by the story of Paul Bunyan. But instead of a character using force to succeed, she wanted a huge woman character to succeed by the enormous capacity to love. In the video below, Pat Mora states that during a book talk one time, a teacher said she loved the book, because the woman is so big but they feel small. She said they felt small because they speak Spanish. Pat is proud of this, because so many readers can connect to Dona Flor, and be inspired by the story.

The illustrator, Raul Colon, is known for his use of watercolor, etchings, and colored pencils. As a child, he was often very sick with asthma related problems. Raul had to stay home for days and sometimes weeks at a time. During this time he began drawing in composition books. His frequent sickness became a blessing.

Doña Flor

Talking Notes

  • "Before I begin reading, what do you think being a good citizen means?" Talk with your table, and discuss. After about 15 seconds, ask some students to share out. If they do not get to statements such as showing respect, being responsible, having a positive attitude, and engaging in conflict resolution, help them generate these ideas.
  • This is one of our vocabulary words, show the pre made poster with statements and pictures that are examples of being a good citizen/neighbor.
  • Next, expand on the vocab word respect. "What does it mean to have respect?" For times sake, just have them share out loud with raised hands.
  • Show the pre made poster for respect that has statements and pictures that are examples of respect.
  • Begin reading Dona Flor.
  • On the end of page ten, pause and ask students "How has Dona Flor shown good citizenship so far in the book? Talk with your shoulder partner."
  • After reading the story, ask students to discuss with their table about how Dona Flor was a good neighbor or citizen?
  • Have a few students share out ideas.
  • Next, "Think to yourself, using Dona Flor as an example, how can you be a good neighbor/ citizen at school or at home?"
  • "Draw me a picture of how you can be a good citizen in this classroom, and show respect to your classmates."
  • "Dona Flor is a great example of how we should treat our neighbors."

Five Questions for Students Before, During, and After Reading

Before Reading:

1. What do you think being a good citizen means?

2. What does it mean to be respectful?

During Reading:

3. How has Dona shown good citizenship so far in the story?

After Reading:

4. How was Dona Flor a good Citizen/neighbor in the story?

5. How can you be a good citizen in the classroom or at home?