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Green Is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors

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Children discover all the bright colors in their Hispanic American neighborhood.

40 pages, Hardcover

First published February 18, 2014

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About the author

Roseanne Thong

22 books22 followers
Also writes as Roseanne Greenfield Thong.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 252 reviews
Profile Image for Kaethe.
6,403 reviews462 followers
March 25, 2021
#41 in my 365 Kids Books challenge and multi-year effort to Goodreads to fix the Top Readers, etc. lists. For a full explanation see my review for 101 Amazing Facts about Australia You can see all the books on their own shelf.

Here's a fun one. The rhymes and the art are good, and the background details are well worth dawdling over. But by association with the gun introduced in the first act, the volcano is concerning.

Library copy
Profile Image for Katie Goddard.
14 reviews1 follower
June 20, 2015
One connection I found in “Red is a Chile Pepper,” was a text-to-self (TS) connection. A text-to-self connection involves having students identify how the book reminds them of events, characters, and themes in their own lives. How does the book remind you of your own life? What characters or themes can you relate to in the book? This book about colors reminded me of how I have learned a new culture through my roommate. In the book, the family makes different foods for the party such as green Chile peppers and salsa on top of rice. My roommate is Mexican and she has taught me a lot about Mexican food, culture and festivals during our four-year friendship. I have learned how to make tamales, homemade piñatas and traditional Mexican tacos. The events and food depicted in the story reminded me of my own life in this way. My roommate always has delicious Mexican food cooking in the house and it inspires me to make my own Mexican food! Now I am addicted to Mexican food and cannot stop making it! ☺
Profile Image for Debrarian.
1,245 reviews
February 28, 2015
Credits: Lively, lovely illustrations that give a flavor of daily Mexican life. Detailed glossary in back.

Debits: The verses aren't especially graceful (eg. Red is a ribbon. / Red is a bow / and skirts for / baile folklórico). Arbitrary color assignments (eg. Pink are piñatas, Purple are rides at the feria). Also, selection of “púrpura” and “marrón” for purple and brown, without mentioning the legion other names for these colors in Mexico. Final couplet feels like weirdly arbitrary picks: “In ponchos, serapes, and xylophones, too, these beautiful colors are waiting for you!” Also, and I know this is a quibble, but I never see rainbow-painted xylophones in Mexico; I just see wooden marimbas.
17 reviews1 follower
June 14, 2018
This book represents text-to-world. It is all about discovering colors that are all around us. I can connect this to the world purely by the fact that we all discover new colors and arrays of color while walking through everyday life in our neighborhood, workplace, school, and overall environment. By finding new murals on walls downtown, or watching sunsets with loved ones, we are always discovering new colors and a love for our surroundings. I think young children especially have this vital step in their development when they come across a new color that they have never seen before and have to learn what it is called. This book was VERY cute and is a wonderful tool for children who are still learning their colors.
Profile Image for Nicole Santiago.
29 reviews
January 29, 2016
"Green is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors" is a bilingual, color concept book. It was recognized as an honor book for the Pura Belpré Award in 2015 for its illustrations. The Latinos pictured are represented with a variety of skin tones, representative of the different shades found throughout Latin America. Language is used authentically and didn't include "double word use" with the English word immediately following. A glossary is included at the end of the book.

The richly colored and detailed illustrations would draw all young readers. Latino children, in particular, can easily connect to the authentic cultural references.
3 reviews1 follower
September 28, 2019
This book is a mixture of Spanish and English words. It’s a simple book that talks about the things that are of specific colors in Hispanic culture. This book has a rhyming text and also teaches how to say each color in Spanish and English.
This book is an award-winning book from ‘Pura Belpre Honor Book’ of 2014. It can be used for elementary school students to learn about Hispanic culture, colors and vocabulary specially if you have Hispanic students in your class. This book is great for early readers because of the simple language and few words on each page. The teacher may use this book for teaching Hispanic vocabulary, colors and rhymes.
Profile Image for Karen.
213 reviews
January 9, 2019
For a children’s book about colors (and there are so many it’s hard to stand out), this is probably one of my favorites! It is a celebration of Latino culture, teaches colors in both English & Spanish, and the art is festive and fun. There is a glossary at the back for the additional Spanish words included in the text, too.
Profile Image for Angélica.
94 reviews3 followers
October 4, 2016
Rhymes in english are great. Si el objetivo del libro era sólo traducirlo, cumple con su cometido; de lo contrario me hubiera gustado que trataran de rimar la versión en español.
Profile Image for Abby Bond.
28 reviews5 followers
April 25, 2022
I enjoyed the simplicity of this book. This book lists nine different colors and talks about multiple items in hispanic/latinx culture that these colors represent. The items are named both in Spanish and in English and pronounced with a Spanish accent. On each of the pages, the color being talked about is written in both English and Spanish as well in order to show what it looks like written. This book has bright and colorful illustrations which make reading this book so fun! This book does a great job at representing this culture in a way that is meaningful and accurate to those who are apart of this culture.
25 reviews1 follower
April 26, 2022
"Green Is a Chile Pepper" is a fun, educational book to teach children about colors when it comes to the Latinx culture. This book is one big teaching lesson for young children because not only are they learning about some of the elements of Latinx culture, they're also learning how to say their colors in a different language! They way that these colors were described felt like I was experiencing the colors in the way that Latinx culture experience them. It's such a simple book about colors, but it's so much more than that. It is a representation of one's culture and it lets others see the beauty of it. It lets others into the world of Latinx culture and makes those who are a part of that culture feel represented.
Profile Image for Mama Bibliosoph.
271 reviews13 followers
March 27, 2017
So many other books I looked at for introducing the idea of there being other languages (specifically highlighting the Spanish language) lacked a really strong structure, which is extra important when demanding a child absorb a difficult language-based concept.

But Green is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors was a home-run. It has the familiar format of a color primer (This page has things that are blue; this one has things that are green, etc.), and introduces Mexican/Mexican-American cultural objects in an accessible way by blending the specific with the universal in visually engaging scenes of everyday life.

Because very young children with autism almost always do color programs in the early days of ABA therapy, color primer books are ideal for generalizing or maintaining these skills. Color primers are also pleasurable for a child who has mastered their colors and has therefore learned to enjoy being praised for identifying them correctly. This is certainly the case for my son Luke, who easily attended to this book, excited for the opportunity to label colors.

Each color scene has a lot of things to look at that are both familiar and potentially unfamiliar. (For a child from a home where Spanish is spoken or for a child from Mexico, there would obviously be much more to personally connect with.) On the first red page, for instance, two children and their mother are in a kitchen. A ristra hangs from the ceiling, and the girl holds one too. Red peppers are things my kids have seen before, but not ristra, which, I learned, are bundles of dried red chiles. (There is a glossary at the back of the book for parents like me who need help here.) On the more familiar end of things, the boy holds a plate of rice with red salsa. Finally, there are the more obvious red things that help anchor a child: red roses, a cat chasing a red ball of yarn, and the people themselves who are wearing red clothes. The art is bright, engaging, and has a warm folk art appeal.

Red is a ristra
Red is a spice.
Red is our salsa
on top of rice.

I love that the text rhymes and is restrained in length. Overall, the Spanish language words that were chosen were done so very carefully; they are mostly words that American children are likely to hear, if not at home then in an even modestly diverse community setting (ie. abuela). There are also plenty of culturally specific words (particularly food-related ones) that don't need translation since we use them in English, like churros or tortillas. Finally there are culturally significant terms that the author chose to introduce in English, like Day of the Dead. All these decisions were made with tremendous care.

I review books for children from the perspective of a parent of kids with autism. The review above is from a longer blog post about books that are good for introducing race and ethnicity to kids with autism: http://www.lineupthebooks.com/10-book...
25 reviews
October 15, 2019
Genre - Concept / Picture Book
Grade Level - Pre-K - K
Themes - N/A
Awards - Pura Belpre

Summary - The family in this story is exploring all the colors of the rainbow. They do so by finding the color in everyday objects. For example, red is a ribbon and red is salsa on rice. The words in this book are written like rhymed poetry and every color also includes a Spanish portrayal of the color. Purple is the feria prizes that we win, each Spanish word is defined in the back of the book in the glossary. Even in the final pages the colors are portrayed through English and Spanish in rhyming lines.

Personal Response - This book shows colors seen every day; I loved this portrayal because our world is beautiful, and color is everywhere. I think that this book does an excellent job of communicating color in an entertaining way, and students who speak English are learning Spanish on every page. For a Spanish speaking student, I think that this is a create way to get them motivated to read English words as well.

Additional Information - This concept book is appropriate for young readers because it relates colors to everyday objects. The pictures are vivid and engaging and the concepts are well communicated.

Classroom Connections -
1. Take a walk around the building and see how many colors we can find, have students keep a list of what items are what colors and produce a classroom written book to emulate Green is a Chile Pepper.

2. Have students bring in an item, then work as a class to translate the item name and color into Spanish. Create a classroom glossary of all these newly learned Spanish Words.

8 reviews
April 16, 2019
In this novel in verse novel, Roseanne Greenfield Thong introduces the reader to colors in both English and Spanish. Readers of Green is a Chile Pepper are introduced to elements of Latino culture through food and festivities. I would use this book in a 3rd grade classroom in terms of upper elementary other than the situation indicated below.

While this book isn’t difficult in terms of reading level, it introduces challenging concepts that could be used to deepen the conversation about the text. I would use this book as a part of a collaborative project with a younger grades classroom. This book has simple enough language and is a reasonable length so that it could be used for my students to practice their reading fluency with younger students. They would need to read the book silently prior to collaborating with younger students and become more familiar with the words with Spanish origins, but reading this book aloud with another younger student would give them fluency practice and enable the younger students to benefit as well.

I would also use this book as an introduction to a unit or lesson on poems. Reading this novel could serve as the start of reading other poems and becoming familiar with their structure. After reading this novel as a class, I would have students practice writing their own poems. This poem in verse has strong themes in culture, traditions, holidays, and food. I would provide these topics as themes for students to explore for inspiration.

This was a WOW book for me for a few reasons. A classmate suggested the book to me. A peer’s suggestion automatically elevates a book’s importance to me. Additionally, the book’s illustrations are colorful and engaging. Most importantly, I love how the book integrates various cultural themes in an engaging way.
Profile Image for Jamie Steckler.
51 reviews2 followers
November 19, 2018
The children around their neighborhood explore the colorful world around them where many of the objects are "Hispanic in origin but universal in their appeal". A bilingual text is present as each color is also written in Spanish on the page and the end features a glossary of definitions of the Spanish words that were used throughout the story.

I think this book was beautifully done and really captures the spirit of the Hispanic culture while still being a teaching lesson for children all the like. The illustrations take up the entire pages, as no white space is present. I like this feature because the book is about colors and it really uses them! Each page helps capture the feel of the color as the color chosen is the main theme for the picture. For example, for the color blue, there is water featured, the crafts are all blue, the ladder is blue, and even the bird has blue in it. This would definitely help children learn. While reading, children would also be able to spot many of the same items they see every day which helps capture the idea that even though people can be a different culture, they are still just like everyone else in many ways.

The inclusion of the glossary in the back helps make sense of the story for those who do not know Spanish. As a child, I would have loved learning a new language from the back of a book. It also helps make rhyming happen over the course of the book which makes it not only more fun to read, but more fun to listen to. Overall, this book would definitely catch the attention of kids, as it caught mine as an adult. I would use this book in the classroom in order to introduce Spanish to my class and the basic vocabulary words. It would also be helpful in introducing the Hispanic culture.
April 26, 2015
Pura Belpré Award
2015 Illustrator Honor
Copyright 2014

The book Green Is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Thong is an excellent multicultural book. It uses both English and Spanish words throughout the book, another thing that I really enjoyed is that the story is told through the eyes of a young girl as she adventures through her Hispanic neighborhood.

Text-to-text: In the sense of colors, this book reminds me of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Eric Carle because we are able to learn colors while reading a fun book. In the sense of bilingual books it reminds me of all of the "Dora the Explorer" books. With those books they will give you Spanish words and also the English meaning, just like in "Green is a Chile Pepper"!

Text-to-self: I took Spanish throughout middle school and high school and this book reminds me of those fun years of Spanish class! It also reminds me of my pre-k classroom, each student in my classroom knows the colors in English, Spanish, and sign-language. So a book like this would be perfect in our class because we are visually able to see the colors and hear the words that go along with the colors.

Text-to-world: In most schools today, children are getting introduced to multiple cultures and beginning to understand their language and culture. So I think this book is an awesome way to teach a simple subject matter. Most children know their colors and being able to connect English colors to Hispanic cultural items and their language is great for young children.
Profile Image for Paige Joerger.
15 reviews
April 22, 2015
This is my first multicultural picture book I chose.

Text-to text connection: Not only does book goes really well with its sister book, "Round is a Tortilla", by the same author- Roseanne Greenfield Thong- but also goes really well with the book "Brown Bear, Brown, Bear, What Do You See? That was one of my favorite books as a kid, and another great book for young children to learn and distinguish between their colors, animals, or items that the colors are associated with.

Text-to-self connection: This book is right up my alley because I am going into bilingual education (I want to work at a dual-language school in South Omaha and perhaps eventually teach in a foreign Spanish-speaking country). I am also interested in primary grades, but more in the 1st to 3rd grade range. I really like how this book rhymes/ has a specific kind of poetry format, and that there are both English and Spanish words in it. I was able to test my Spanish knowledge by recognizing some the words (and looking others up) and was able to read them correctly.

Text-to-world connection: I could see bilingual teachers use this book in a history lesson, perhaps teaching about other cultures (this book addresses many traditional customs of the Spanish culture). I could also see teachers using it in a science lesson, as it talks about many plants and things in nature that kids could infer about and using reasoning to grow/ reproduce.
Profile Image for Cara Turski.
12 reviews2 followers
September 21, 2016
“Green is a Chile Pepper” is a children’s concept book about color. It is set in Mexico and captures many aspects of Hispanic culture including the food, dances, and holidays. It is more elaborate and expansive than other concept books I have been exposed to. This is great because it gives more opportunities to interact with the book and for “book talk.” It is appropriate for children 2-6 who are still learning the colors. It could also be used with older children learning either Spanish or English.

John Parra’s illustrations are rich and lively. They are very descriptive and provide a lot for children to look for and talk about. For example, the color orange spread mentions that marigolds and the plates are orange. However, Parra also included orange pumpkins.

The text tends to rhyme and is easy to read aloud. It is written primarily in English with Spanish words sprinkled in. While Thong does provide a glossary in the back, it does not have a pronunciation guide. This makes the book a little more challenging for readers with no Spanish background.

I highly recommend this to parents who are not native English speakers or to teachers who have ESL students. This book is perfect for read alouds as it provides ample opportunities for questions and discussion.

Teachers could have students either draw their own color concept book using themes from their own lives or have them research on an aspect of Hispanic culture referenced in the book.
Profile Image for Amy Cobbs.
35 reviews
June 15, 2015
“Boys and girls, we are going to continue our Social Studies unit on Hispanic Americans. Looking at our read-aloud for today, who can read the first word of our book’s title?” Student replies, “Green.” “Good Job!” The title is Green is a Chile Pepper, Who can tell me what do we know about peppers? Peppers are a vegetable. Yes and peppers come in many colors also peppers are used in a lot of Mexican American or Latin culture foods. In this book we are going to learn about the colors of Mexico and how to pronounce them is Spanish. I would like you to pay close attention to see if their colors are much alike or different from the colors we know and use. How about the spelling, can you predict some color words better than others?

Opening moves: Text to world connection of color words and how color describes (adjectives) items in English and Spanish. What are some of the items that are associated with color words in English, are any of them the same for Spanish?

Rationale: This book continues study into the Hispanic culture and language. The students will also gain knowledge on different vocabulary used for celebrations.
Profile Image for Ms. Cobbs.
12 reviews1 follower
June 17, 2015
Engaging Interactive read aloud

“Boys and girls, we are going to continue our Social Studies unit on Hispanic Americans. Looking at our read-aloud for today, who can read the first word of our book’s title?” Student replies, “Green.” “Good Job!” The title is Green is a Chile Pepper, Who can tell me what do we know about peppers? Peppers are a vegetable. Yes and peppers come in many colors also peppers are used in a lot of Mexican American or Latin culture foods. In this book we are going to learn about the colors of Mexico and how to pronounce them is Spanish. I would like you to pay close attention to see if their colors are much alike or different from the colors we know and use. How about the spelling, can you predict some color words better than others?

Opening moves: Text to world connection of color words and how color describes (adjectives) items in English and Spanish. What are some of the items that are associated with color words in English, are any of them the same for Spanish?

Rationale: This book continues study into the Hispanic culture and language. The students will also gain knowledge on different vocabulary used for celebrations.
Profile Image for Denice Hein.
69 reviews
April 23, 2015
1.) Text-to-Self: I think students could relate to this book as young learners of colors. I think first or second graders could relate and remember what it was like to learn colors and now this book is about colors and a different culture with some vocabulary words from the Latin culture. I connected with the book in remembering learning simple Spanish words as a high schooler.
2.) In subtle ways, the book exposes the reader to the Spanish culture and it’s traditions with festivals and family feasts.
3.)*Recalling: Tell me 3 things that are green.
*Understanding: Retell the items for red. (each student or group can retell one color)
*Apply: How is their abuela similar or different from your grandmother?
*Analyzing: Looking at the cover, predict what colors are explored in the book.
*Evaluating: What would you choice from your family traditions for one color?
*Creating: Using the colors and your own examples, make your own book of colors.
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, Brown, White with one item each.
Profile Image for Lauren Rhodes.
40 reviews4 followers
May 6, 2015
Literature Requirement ALA Notable Children’s Books 2014
This delightful book teaches the names of colors in Spanish and some of the foods and customs associated with different colors. The illustrations are brilliantly designed and unique in the color tones just like the color tones you see on the cover. This lovely book introduces kids to Spanish vocabulary and colors and provides an informative glossary and has a fun to read rhyming text to excite readers. The story is told through a little Hispanic girl's eyes as she explores her neighborhood. Green is a chile pepper, spicy and hot. Green is cilantro inside our pot. Red is spices and swirling skirts, yellow is masa, tortillas, and sweet corn cake. This lovely celebrates the Hispanic American culture beautifully through many vehicles such as rhyme and color having the Spanish and English words throughout the book paints a lovely picture and is perfect for connecting children's language lessons to the world and culture around them and outside their own. I would recommend for it all ages and is just divine for sharing out loud.
Profile Image for Erin.
21 reviews
March 6, 2016
This picture book details items in the Mexican culture that fit various colors. It was unclear to me through the pictures if the children lived in a southwestern state of the USA or in Mexico. One page does show a volcano in the background which makes me think it may be more of a Mexican setting, although the description says it is in a Mexican-American neighborhood. I liked how the author used the Spanish words for items shown and didn't include "double word use" with the English word immediately following. Instead there is a glossary in the back if further clarification is needed.

This book was an honor book for the Pura Belpré Award in 2015. I read this book as a digital text (ebook) and felt that this book would be better read as a physical text. Considering that this book was an honor book for it's pictures, I felt that the digital text does not do the pictures justice. Young children would love to read this book to find familiar objects and words that fit their home life. It would be a nice addition to a classroom library for independent reading.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 252 reviews

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