The Hero of Cinco de Mayo/El héroe del Cinco de Mayo: Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín
A bilingual picture book introducing the story of the battle of Cinco de Mayo.
by José Angel Gutiérrez
Spanish translation by Gabriela Baeza Ventura
Illustrations by Stephen Marchesi
Publication Date: May 31, 2020
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín was born in Goliad, Texas, in 1829, when Texas was part of Mexico. His family lived on a Mexican fort because his father was a soldier in the army. Ignacio wanted to be a just like his father! When he was seven, Texas became independent from Mexico, and the family had to move to Matamoros, Mexico. Later they moved to Monterrey.
Ignacio tried to join the Mexican army in 1846 when the United States declared war, but he was too young. He was finally able to join the armed forces when he turned 24. An outstanding soldier, he was named the commander of the Mexican army and navy by President Benito Juárez. In 1862, he had to defend his country against the invading French army, one of the strongest in the world. The Mexican troops were mostly volunteers—including women and Zapotec indigenous people—and their weapons were no match for the French.
This bilingual picture book recounts the story of the Battle of Puebla and the Mexican army’s unexpected win against a much stronger foe. Today this victory is celebrated in the United States as Cinco de Mayo, a day to commemorate the Mexican roots of many US citizens. This non-fiction picture book for older elementary school students contains realistic illustrations depicting the Mexican general and his times.