Read Out Loud OPUESTOS by Cynthia Weill

Read Out Loud with Cynthia Weill OPUESTOS

Join Cynthia Weill for Read Out Loud as she reads her new picture book, OPUESTOS, which teaches kids about opposites in English and Spanish. This special book is illustrated using whimsical, little, carved, wooden animals from Oaxaca in Mexico. After she reads the book, Cynthia shares more about these beautiful, hand-painted pieces of Mexican folk art and their makers.


“It’s hard to take one’s eyes off this book, the wood sculptures are so appealing, so re-readings are probable.”
Chicago Tribune

Cynthia Weill’s book of Mexican folk art teaches kids about opposites in Spanish and English! These whimsical little animals from Oaxaca, carved and painted by hand, make learning about opposites fun. Up and down, tall and short, left and right — all inside a beautiful book.

Brothers Martín and Quirino, along with other family members, carved these figures from the wood of the flowering jacaranda tree. All are farmers but supplement their income carving these beautiful creatures in the little mountain town of La Union Tejalapam, Oaxaca.

“Direct and charming.”
Publishers Weekly

“This second work by the author of ABeCedarios follows its predecessor’s highly praised concept and design.”


My books use folk arts from around the world to illustrate basic concepts for children. The current series employs handicrafts commissioned from artisans in Oaxaca and Puebla, Mexico to teach children the alphabet, opposites, colors, numbers, jobs and animal sounds in Spanish and English.

It takes two to four years to create all of the artwork. Each piece is hand made by artisanal families living in rural areas of the country. Because I end up spending so much time with the families, I’m invited to my fair share of weddings, baptisms, quinceañeras and other events. We get to know each other really well! The pieces are so unique that they are part of the permanent MesoAmerican collection at the Field Museum of Chicago.

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One Comment

Kid Lit TV Commenter Annie Lynn

This looks like a wonderful book teaching some important basic words in both English and Spanish, as well as teaching opposites. These wooden figures have always intrigued me. I got a tortuga in Mexico long ago and treasure it. My favorite part of this video is Cynthia’s story about how she found Martín and Quirino and family. To go to all that trouble, she must have known inside that she “had” to go, and that they were “waiting” for her. So glad she followed her instincts. Now there is a helpful, beautiful picture book, and Artists and their families and friends found a way to make some money doing what they love, while sharing with the world. Looking forward to reading this book, learning new Spanish words, and smiling at those beautiful, wooden pieces of Art, made with love.


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