Health picture books teach and represent Latino and Indigenous readers


It was after school conversation time for a group of young girls at Greenfield’s Vineyard Greentown Home.

They sat down, cheered and gathered around Dr Joshua Deutsch, a local family doctor at Me Memorial Hospital. He read books to children for the first time.

These are not your typical children’s health books.

In fact, the images and characters in the book show brown-skinned families, immigrants, and farmers farming in the fields. The character looks and lives like a Monterey County girl and her family.

A father smiled when he saw his daughter flipping through the pages of a scattered book.

“My daughter is very curious and can’t wait to get involved,” said Rossendo Saldana. “When her mom reads her a book at night she just asks questions one after the other and it’s very effective to have someone here to explain the answer to her question, she’s happy.”

This series was specially created to represent the local life and culture of Monterey County. Topics include understanding the body, healthy eating, and exercise that apply to children and adults.

Bearing in mind the diversity of Latin groups throughout the Central Coast, German needs to create a photo-only book that covers the same topic in a way he finds most useful for non-speaking Indigenous children and families. I decided to go further. More common languages ​​such as English and Spanish.

“The Salinas Greenfields are populated by Oaxaca, the county’s largest group of Mexican immigrants,” the German said. “The two most spoken indigenous languages ​​in Oaxaca around here are Trike and Mixtec, which have no written language, so parents who speak those languages ​​can read them. I do not have a book. “

Germany planned to write these books as part of it Health and justice I have been reading the program for some time. According to the organization’s website, nonprofits are creating “innovative community health and social justice projects designed for the health environment of farming communities.”

By reading picture books and reacting positively to my children, I realized this was the key to universally communicating themes and messages without words.

With the help of a local artist, he realized his vision and illustrations.

The titles of the books are:

  • “How Tia Guadalupe Overcomes Diabetes”
  • “Alliteration of the animal alphabet”
  • “Campode Gilasoles” or “Field of Sunflowers”
  • “Maya loves beans”
  • “Part of the body”
  • “Jugemos” or “Play”
  • “to count”
  • “breakfast”

Rosendo Saldana said the book has not arrived.

“This is a great help because it allows our children to learn the message effectively. We have so many obesity and health fears these days, and it shows them how to eat healthy and take care of themselves. “

Your doctor, Joshua Deutsch, will demonstrate the use of stethoscopes to children while reading a health book.

Today, Monterey County hospitals and clinics have 20,000 pounds on the market, including the Alisal Clinic, Laurel Family Practice Clinic, Me Memorial, and Natividard Hospital. Germany and other medical staff often spend time reading books to young patients at the bedside.

Germany says most of the money for making a book comes out of its own pocket. The books are sold to local medical institutions for $ 1 each so patients can get them for free. It also sells online or at the Downtown Book & Sound bookstore in Salinas for $ 2- $ 3.

Germany says all sales revenue is reinvested to create more books. Her goal is to earn more grants and donations to make more books available across the county and even in local schools.

“We also want to spread this across California, from Modesto to Merced,” the German said. “I hope that families and their children working on the farm will grow up with the same reading and education opportunities as children from other backgrounds.

GoFundMe has also been set up for those who wish to donate to the program.

For more information or to download a free digital copy of the book, please visit:

The father reads a picture book to his child.

Health picture books teach and represent Latino and Indigenous readers Health picture books teach and represent Latino and Indigenous readers


About Stuart M. McFarland

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