Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas” as Want to Read:
Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Bilingual English/Spanish. Through the magic windows of her cut-paper art, Carmen shows us her family, her life as an artist, and the legends of her Aztec past. Through the magic windows of her cut-paper art, Carmen shows us her family, her life as an artist, and the legends of her Aztec past.

We look into Carmen's studio and see her paint a Mexican jarabe tapat�o dancer; w
Paperback, 32 pages
Published March 28th 2003 by Children's Book Press (first published 1999)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  107 ratings  ·  29 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas
Cliff Bathke
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-summaries
1. the Author of this book pairs pictures made from paper cutouts and explores the life and culture of Mexican life. The book has both English and Spanish and show the values she was taught that inspired each piece of art.
2. Grades K-3
3. I would teach this to students when talking about cultures or talents.
4. Students who like to craft things would find this book enjoyable. Since the author uses her own art form to tell a story.
5. Small groups could try and create a picture using the same techn
Carmen Grace
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Every page of this book is filled with a beautiful image as if you were looking through a window. To compliment the picture, there is text both in English and in Spanish. The text tells the story of what is happening in the window you are looking through. The author used cut-paper art to create the window images. This art of cut-paper has a long history in Mexico and a skill that was passed down to her from her grandmother. She uses these magic windows to be able to see through them into another ...more
Mary Garrett
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Magic Windows/Ventanas mágicas
by Carmen Lomas Garza (Illustrator)
Paper Cut Pictures with Love
This beautiful book shares art, culture, family, and language, building an appreciation for all. Beautiful work!
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
The art is just spectacular, all cut paper. The vignettes are interesting, and it’s a pretty robust bilingual book (all text is in Spanish too, not just a few vocabulary words).
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The paper cutouts and descriptions were so cool!
Erin Ramai
This book is intended for children ages 4-8. The text is in both English and Spanish. It won the Pura Belpré Award for Illustration in 2000.

Magic Windows by Carmen Lomas Garza accomplishes three tasks: it teaches the reader about Mexican culture and tradition, tells stories about Garza’s life, and explains how she created each of the papel picado (cut-paper art) illustrations in the book—a tall order for any children’s book. Although this book might seem overly complex from my description, it a
Tibby (she/her)
We are very fortunate in that our students take a foreign language in lower school (beginning in Kindergarten). The purpose of the program is not to create bilingual students, but to give the children exposure to another language and develop an ear for other languages. They can choose from French and Spanish (I really wish there were more options). I discovered this year that our Spanish teacher bought some books featuring Latina characters and a few bilingual books and while I tend to buy books ...more
Nov 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, lis-565, latino
Magic Windows was the recipient of the Pura Belpré Award in 2000. The award is in recognition of Latino or Latina writer/illustrators whose work best portrays the Latino cultural experience in a work of literature for children. Magic Windows is an excellent choice as a recipient of this award. The illustrations are actually images of the author/artist’s cut-paper artworks . The art form is part of the Chicano tradition that Carmen’s grandmother taught her at a very young age. Each two page sprea ...more
Emma Hoyer
Paper cutting is AWESOME! Holy cow! The illustrations in this book have so many intricate details, and it’s mind-blowing that there are people on this earth that have an eye for detail like that. This book is a real treat, and not only does is show you some amazing works of art, but it also gives you a lot of information about Mexican culture. I learned and saw a lot from just reading this book.

This book also isn’t just arbitrary information. It’s all related to one very talented woman, and she
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Magic Windows is a nonfiction book in which the author introduces the reader to the Mexican traditional art form of papel picado which is cut-paper art. The author accompanies each picture with a simple narrative in English and in Spanish that tells about the picture and the author’s Mexican-American culture. The pieces of art are like magic windows because they allow the reader to see the author’s world through her eyes. The subjects of her art represent her culture, like Dance for the Day of t ...more
Jul 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ls560
In Magic Windows by Carmen Lomas Garza, Garza combines not only her writing ability and her family history but she also connects her family-taught ability of cut-paper art so not only reveal her family history but to illustrate her story.
Garza emphasizes her culture with illustrations made solely by cutting paper into intricate designs of her family and their history. Along with learning of Garza’s family, we see how her customs make her the person she is. Along with explaining her family and h
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This book was a 2000 Pura Belpre Award winner for illustrations, and I can see why. Carmen Lomas Garza created these incredibly detailed paper cuttings from one sheet of paper, and it's described as "tissue paper," which means it's probably fragile and easily ripped. That makes it all the more amazing to me that she can create such intricate and large pictures (see the photo at the back of her book of one of her papercuttings on display). They also have to be carefully planned, so that everythin ...more
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Garza, Carmen Lomas, Magic Windows, Children’s Book Press, 1999, nonfiction literature,2nd – 6th, lexile AD710L, rating 5

In this book, the author shares her Mexican family traditions and illustrates them with cut-paper art she has created.

I rate this 5. This book is written in English and has Spanish translations on each page, which is great to all audiences, especially Latinos, to read a book with joint cultures. The cut-paper art illustrations are almost hard for me to believe that the author
Becky B
Carmen Lomas Garza uses her cut paper illustrations as ways to introduce various parts of Mexican culture.

This is a much shorter book than it looks, primarily because the text is repeated, appearing both in English and Spanish. Garza's cut paper artwork is incredible. Seriously, I can't believe what she can do with a knife and a sheet of paper! And she does a good job of giving a broad introduction to various parts of Mexican culture that kids would find interesting. A good multicultural pick.
Apr 09, 2012 added it
Shelves: edsl-520
Garza, Carmen Lomas. Magic Windows/ Ventanas Magicas. (1999)

Annotation: Each page has an picture of cut- paper art and a description of what the picture is about in English and in Spanish.

Themes: Mexico, Family, art, Mexican traditions

Ways to use with children:You could use this in a study of Mexico or in an art class that will be making cut- paper art of their own. A Spanish teacher could also use this book since the text is written in English and in Spanish.

Recommended age:6- 18
This was another chance to see the wonderful art work of Carmen Lomas Garza with her bits of memories. Her art is almost always related to her family or culture in some way and her text explains the significance of the art. I loved seeing the intricate paper picado and will share the pictures with my students as we prepare for Dia de los niños.
Kallie Krammes
This is a wonderful book about ancestors and the story of what families mean. This is a biography that teaches lessons at the same time about culture and family. The pictures are engaging because they are done by an actual artist and the colors are fantastic. A great book for lessons with bilingual students or a cultural lesson.
May 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finish-reading
I was amazed by Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas by Carmen Lomas Garza. It shows you how to do papel picado/cut-paper art step by step with scissors and a craft knife. I had seen papel picado before but I never knew how it was done. This book is excellent because it shows you by following the steps. It even gives you scissor and craft knife safety rules to follow.
Caroline Barnett
I love this book because you could use this book to study different forms of art and the cultural background of the art. I would read this book to students and then have them make their own "papel picado" or cut-paper art.
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This beautiful cut-paper book offers up both Spanish and English to convey memories of the author's family life and culture. It was gorgeous visually, informative culturally, and fulfilling emotionally.
Kind of an interesting book. I really liked the illustrations, which were all photos of her paper cutouts, and very lovely. However, there's really no story. She just tells what the picture is about and how she made it. its kind of boring.
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 577-the-list
Pura Belpré Award for Illustration (2000)

Part cut-art, part autobiographical story, each of the vignettes has a different story and meaning. Side by side english and spanish versions of the text.
Aug 23, 2011 marked it as to-read
2000 Pura Belpré Medal Winner (for illustration)
Jul 31, 2011 rated it liked it
I did not read all the text, rather I paraphrased it. We looked at the paper cuttings and discussed them. I did not think the text was incredibly interesting.
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Garza shares her life and family through her cut paper art drawings
Brindi Michele
2000 Belpre Illustrator Winner

I'm very shocked this was the winner....
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Traditional ways to decorate a window. What do you think?
Alejandra Martinez
rated it really liked it
Oct 31, 2014
rated it it was ok
May 14, 2013
rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2011
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Hello Lighthouse
  • The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse
  • Heartbreaker (Paths to Love, #3)
  • Text 2 Lovers (2 Lovers, #1)
  • Bear Is Awake!: An Alphabet Story
  • Old Rock (Is Not Boring)
  • Under My Hijab
  • Cityscape: Where Science and Art Meet
  • Friday Night Wrestlefest
  • Tomorrow Most Likely
  • Grumpy Pants
  • Nobody Does It Better (Lucky in Love, #3)
  • The Feel Good Factor (Lucky in Love, #2)
  • Once Upon A Red Hot Kiss (Heartbreakers #1.5)
  • Too Good To Be True (One Love, #5.5)
  • His Royal Highness
  • Smitten
  • Apples and Robins
See similar books…

Related Articles

There is nothing like reading a history or biography book and being so completely transported to another time and place that you find...
47 likes · 16 comments