Papa Tells Chita a Story is probably the only Spanish American War picture book in existence. In it, a black American shares a tall tale with his daughter about how he delivered a secret message to troops on the other side of Cuba. Some of his story is not true (GIANT snakes, and alligators and eagles, oh my!) but he does have a beautiful medal, so some of his story must be true.
This book is based on the story that Harry S. McCard, who had enlisted to earn money to go to medical school, told his real life daughter, Chita. After the war he became one of Baltimore’s first black doctors. I love how a photograph of this father and daughter is included in the back of the book.
Activity: Earn your own medal. After you read a book, ride your bike without training wheels, go without television for a week, swim across the pool, eat all your vegetables or learn to tie your shoe, you’ll deserve a medal! Print these then cut them out, (I recommend glueing them to poster board and glueing the second gold page to the back before you cut them out) add a hole (I used a hole punch) for a ribbon and wear proudly! Be sure to write the date of your historic event on the back of your medal.