Welcome to Greentrike’s monthly Playful Guide! Each month, we’ll be highlighting some important happenings in the community, curate some educational reading list based on the month’s theme, and even create some guides for fun activities!

In addition, our monthly Playful Guides are also a place where we acknowledge important Cultural Heritage Months, which are also celebrated during Play to Learn sessions across Pierce County. When we celebrate heritage, we create a welcoming environment and develop appreciation for the many cultures that make up our community!

September 15 – October 15 is recognized as Hispanic Heritage Month for the many contributions that Hispanic and Latino Americans have made and the positive influence that they have had in our community. For details about Hispanic Heritage month and its history, visit HispanicHeritageMonth.gov.

Did you know?

September 15 is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua! Plus, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. This is one of the reasons that we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month during this time period.

Reading List

Below are some  great picture books recommended by Greentrike staff that can help to enrich children’s understanding of heritage, identity, and acceptance. Consider checking them out from your local library!

Where Are You From? Cover Art

Where Are You From?

by Yamile Saied Méndez

A young girl on a journey to explore her roots receives an unexpected answer from her abuelo about where she is from. This beautifully-illustrated story explores themes of self acceptance, identity, home, and belonging.

Across the Bay Cover Art

Across the Bay

by Carlos Aponte

Carlitos lives in a happy home with his mother, his abuela, and Coco the cat. Life in his hometown is cozy as can be, but the call of the capital city pulls Carlitos across the bay in search of his father.

Planting Stories Cover Art

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

by Anika Denise

When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy.

Alma and How She Got Her Name Cover Art

Alma and How She Got Her Name

by Juana Martinez-Neal

Follow Alma as she learns the history of her very long name and the legacies her family members have left behind. This discovery story is a great conversation starter for children who may be curious about their own family histories or names.

My Papi Has a Motorcycle Cover Art

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

by Isabel Quintero

A celebration of the love between a father and daughter, and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, by an award-winning author and illustrator duo.

I Wish You Knew Cover Art

I Wish You Knew

by Jackie Azúa Kramer

When Estrella’s father has to leave because he wasn’t born here, like her, she misses him. And she wishes people knew the way it affects her. At home. At school. Always. But a school wrapped around a hundred-year-old oak tree is the perfect place to share and listen. Some kids miss family, some kids are hungry, some kids live in shelters. But nobody is alone. A story about deportation, divided families, and the importance of community in the midst of uncertainty.

Maybe Something Beautiful Cover Art

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

by F. Isabel Campoy

In this exuberant picture book about transformation through art, Mira lives in a gray urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and hope to the neighborhood.

The Day You Begin Cover Art

The Day You Begin

by Jacqueline Woodson

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it. An empowering message about diversity and acceptance for those who might not always feel like they fit in.

Further Reading

Looking for more books? The Tacoma Public Library, Puyallup Library, and Pierce County Libraries all have tons of picture book recommendations, many of which are available to be checked out and enjoyed!

Local Events

Pierce County has several events coming up this month to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! The following are only a few free and family-friendly events coming up in October, but be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more around the community!

Click the photos next to each listing to be redirected to event websites.

Hispanic Countries Scavenger Hunt

Hispanic Countries Scavenger Hunt

Puyallup Public Library | All of September

Visit the Puyallup Public Library at 324 S Meridian from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. to learn more about Hispanic countries by participating in a library-wide scavenger hunt. Ask your Puyallup librarian for details and a list of things to look for!

Celebrate la Cultura

Celebrate Cultura! Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration & Open House

Tacoma Public Library Wheelock Branch | October 3

Stop by the Tacoma Public Library Wheelock Branch at North 26th Street in Tacoma from 6 – 7 p.m. to celebrate the month with Girl Scouts! The event is open to youth and families of all ages and with include fun games, crafts, new friends, and a celebration of culture!

Festival Latinx

Festival Latinx

Tacoma Armory | October 14

From 12 – 5 p.m., enjoy live music and dance performances at the Tacoma Armory at 1001 S Yakima Ave! This festival will also feature beautiful art, food, handmade goods, and more!

Día de los Muertos Celebration

Día de los Muertos Celebration

Tillicum Pierce County Library | October 28

Celebrate the Day of the Dead with Tillicum Pierce County Library at 14916 Washington Ave SW in Lakewood from 1 – 2:30 p.m. They’ll be decorating a sugar skull, enjoying traditional bread, listening to a story, making fun crafts, and more!