*Español abajo

Many of us are nearly four weeks into social distancing, sheltering in place, lock-down or quarantine.  Today looks very much like yesterday, and, will most likely resemble tomorrow.  We’ve dabbled in on-line exercise classes, downloaded more Audible books than we could ever listen to in a year of hibernation, and, surely we have unfinished puzzles on our coffee tables.

Throughout the coming weeks, I’ll be posting many of my favorite diverse children’s books in video format on Sail Away Story in both English and Spanish.   They will be accompanied with family discussion questions and activities, providing us with yet another tool to cultivate meaning in our days:)


Muchos de nosotros hemos cumplido más de 4 semanas en casa. Hoy se parece mucho a ayer y probablemente se parecerá como mañana. Nos hemos metido en clases de ejercicios en línea, hemos descargado más libros audibles de los que podríamos escuchar en un año de hibernación y seguramente, tenemos rompecabezas inacabados en nuestras mesas.

A lo largo de las próximas semanas, exploraré muchos de mis libros infantiles favoritos en Sail Away Story que estarán acompañado con preguntas y actividades para cumplir en familia. En este sentido, tendrán una herramienta más para cultivar propósito en sus días.

¡Que disfruten!

We begin our “cuentos en casa” journey with an endearing story of migration and perseverance, Dreamers, written by the beloved author/illustrator, Yuyi Morales.

Comenzamos nuestro viaje de “cuentos en casa” con un cuento de alma, una historia de migración y perseverancia, “Soñadores,” escrito por la querida autora/ilustradora Yuyi Morales.


*Click on the links below  to hear Yuyi read her story in English and Spanish!  For the English version, forward to 31 minutes.

*Haz un clic en los enlaces abajo para escuchar las historias de Yuyi en inglés y español. Para la versión en inglés, saltar a 31 minutos.

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Family discussion:

  • What does “migrate” mean?  Why do you think that some people may migrate?  Other than people, what other animals migrate?
  • What does the word “dream” mean?  Do you have dreams?  What are they?
  • Yuyi Morales celebrates the children’s books that she connected with while exploring the library with her young son.  What are a few of your favorite children’s books?  What makes these stories special?

Discusión familiar:

  • ¿Qué significa “migrar”? ¿Por qué crees que algunas personas deciden migrar? Además de las personas, ¿qué otros animales migran?
  • ¿Qué significa la palabra “sueño”? Tienes sueños? ¿Qué son?
  • En su libro, Yuyi Morales celebra los cuentos infantiles que tuvieron un papel grande durante sus años explorando la biblioteca publica con su hijo. ¿Cuáles son algunos de tus libros infantiles favoritos? ¿Por qué estas historias sean especiales?


Family activities:

Learn how to make your own book, play Mexican lottery, create paper flowers and take a book scavenger hunt with the Dreamers-Event-Kit prepared by Holiday House here.

Actividades familiares:

Aprender como hacer su propio libro, jugar lotería mexicana, elaborar flores de papel y realizar una búsqueda de libros con el Dreamers-Event Kit preparado por Holiday House aquí.







Nochecita–Little Night

Regional focus:  Mexico

Author:  Yuyi Morales

Illustrator: Yuyi Morales

Genre:  children’s literature

I’ve been thinking about mothers.  I am sitting in the airport in route to meet my mother in New Orleans.  Despite the fact that I am nearly 40 years old, she is traveling from California to meet me mid way between Guatemala, where I will receive an award on behalf of La Puerta Abierta for Innovative International Library Programs from the American Library Association.  While I am now a mother myself, my mom is still MY mother, and I will bask in her love and support over the next few days.

As I remember my own mom, my mind wanders to the current issues of the US, the heart-breaking stories of children separated from their mothers in unfamiliar territory, without the guidance, love, warmth, and security that we associate with motherhood.  I imagine the what ifs…what if my daughters were separated from me, and I was unable to protect and sooth them?  Sigh.  Deep breath.

And my thoughts drift  back to our sweet students at La Puerta Abierta in Guatemala who spent the day honoring  Mother Earth by planting trees to the mountain highlands with their teachers and families.

Today, I share one of my favorite stories about mothers.  

Meet Little Night and Mother Sky in Morales’ dreamy tale of the love exchanged between mother and child. Mother Sky prepares her tiny daughter, Little Night, for the evening. As Mother Sky attempts to set the scene for bedtime, Little Night engages in clever games of hide and seek, inspiring her mother to discover where she is hidden. Children will love the idea of a girl who plays while she should be sleeping.

What I love:

  • Morales captures the loving rituals between mother and child.
  • The illustrations allow one to feel as if they have walked into a dream.
  • Little Night and Mother Sky are beautifully brown, round, and dressed in traditional Mexican clothing.
  • The book can be found in both English and Spanish.

Themes: family, rituals, the night sky


  1. What are your family bedtime rituals?
  2. Do you have a favorite bedtime story? What is it?
  3. What can you see from your window at night?


  1. Take a walk with an adult at night to admire the evening sky.
  2. Use black, white, purple, blue and yellow paints to create your own night sky.
  3. Record and draw the moon phases for a month.