Sofi and the Magical, Musical Mural

Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural -Educational Materials/ Sofi y el mágico mural musical



Named to the 2016-17 Tejas Star Reading List

Young Sofía walks to the bodega near her apartment to buy milk for her mom. From the sidewalk, she becomes entranced by a vibrant public mural that celebrates Puerto Rican culture. The dancers in the mural pull Sofía in, and she finds herself transported to Puerto Rico, listening to the island’s music, singing traditional songs, and dancing with new friends.”—Kirkus Reviews

Magical realism merges with the celebration of family heritage in this story of a Puerto Rican girl who seems to enter a large mural painted on a wall across the street from her home. The illustrations are dreamlike and offer a playful vibe.”—Foreword Reviews

Every page of the narrative is written in both English and Spanish, with explanations of vocabulary selections and lavish color illustrations by a famous muralist, Maria Dominguez. Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural is an immediate immersion in the arts, a vivid cultural experience for young readers age 6 and up, filled with exotic flashes of joy.”—Midwest Book Review

This bilingual picture book celebrates public art murals and culture, specifically the one located in the South Bronx entitled, “El Pueblo Cantor” (The Pueblo Sings). The story captures the power that art has on our senses and would be appropriate for art educators. Art educator and muralist Maria Dominguez adds colorful and spiraling illustrations to enhance the story.”—International Literacy Association

This is a children’s book with magnificent illustrations that will capture the hearts of any child. The colors are beautifully done and are the pictures describe and coincide with the story wonderfully.”—The Latino Author



PRTV, 2/14/16

An 8-minute segment on Sofi and the Magic Musical Mural / Sofi y el mágico mural musical with author Raquel M. Ortiz and illustrator Maria Domínguez that highlights the mural, El Pueblo Cantor, and an author reading, dancing, and art activity on the Highline in NYC.

EN TU COMUNIDAD, Sofi y el Mágico Mural Musical

Al Día, Channel 19, 2/7/19

La autora de origen Puertorriqueño Raquel Ortiz nos cuenta de su libro Sofi y el Mágico Mural Musical. La pieza disponible tanto en español como en inglés sobrepasa barreras educando y poniendo a bailar personas de todas las edades y etnicidades.

Memories on the Wall: Education and Enrichment through Community Murals (April 2013)

This 11-minute documentary explores public art and identity through conversations with artist María Domínguez and 8th graders at Global Prep Middle School in East Harlem as together they create a mural.

PUPPET VIEWING: Sofi’s Magical Adventure

First, we will view Sofi’s Magical Adventure, a 25-minute bilingual musical puppet performance based on Raquel M. Ortiz’s bilingual children’s picture book Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural. Join Sofi in exploring public art, imagination, and the Puerto Rican cultural tradition of Carnival as Sofi visits beautiful places on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico and gets to know the carnival character, a vejigante. And, sing along, in Spanish and English, (and maybe even dance) to bouncy plena music created by four-time Grammy-nominated composer William Cepeda.

Then, join the author to make a vejigante puppet inspired by her bilingual children’s picture book Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural and receive a signed copy of the book. End the session grabbing a maraca and join Raquel singing some of the carnival songs from Sofi’s Magical Adventure, “Vejigante mío,” “La Plena nos deja contar,’ and “Vejigante quiere volar.”

Audience: PreK – 5th grade

Length of session: 60 minutes

Amount of Participants per Session: no limit

Language: English / Spanish / Bilingual

Materials: Vejigante template, Paper bag, scissors, Crayons, color pencils or paint

Professional Development


Sofi Songs (2 minutes)

Author Raquel M. Ortiz, New York City Department of Education teaching artist Dr. Drum, and second graders from Public School 250 and Public School 257 sing the three songs found in the Sofi picture book: “Tocotoco,” “Vejigante está pintao,” and “La plena que yo conozco.” A bonus feature is the vejigante who makes a guest appearance for one of the songs.

Vejigante Talk (3 minutes)

New York City Department of Education elementary teacher Humberto Soto, dressed up as the vejigante from Sofi and does a recap of the story with second graders from Public School 250 and Public School 257. Soto also answers questions about the story, explains what a vejigante is, and sings and dances for and with the students.

Teaching Sofi to Teachers, Educators, and Parents (13 minutes)

Author and educator Raquel M. Ortiz shares pre-reading activities for her Sofi picture book with second graders from Public School 250. This includes a plena demo by Dr. Drum and a PowerPoint presentation on the mural that inspired the Sofi picture book. The presentation ends with the author and students learning and singing the three songs found in the Sofi picture book accompanied by music by Dr. Drum.

Plena with Dr. Drum (7 minutes)

New York City Department of Education teaching artist Dr. Drum explains the history of the music genre of plena, the National Puerto Rican music. He also introduces the two instruments used for the plena, the pandereta and the güiro, and plays plena beats for second graders from Public School 250 and Public School 257.

The Art and the Artist with María Domínguez (2 minutes)

Artist María Domínguez explains the creative process behind illustrating the Sofi picture book. Domínguez also talks about the community mural El Pueblo Cantor (Bronx, 1996) that she designed with students from Intermediate School 193 and shows original art and marquettes she created for El Pueblo Cantor.

Puerto Rican Voices: Season 2 Episode 1 (Raquel Ortiz – Sofi and Magic Musical Mural) Note: You will be taken to the Vimeo website.

Download the FREE Educational Guides by clicking on the images below:

Teacher Guide (English)

Caregiver Guide (English)

Caregiver Guide (Spanish)


The Morning Journal, Lorain author’s book to be featured in Cleveland Public Library puppet series 10/29/18

Live on Lakeside, Channel 3, NBC, 4/28/16

To view us on Live on Lakeside video click here

Yo Soy Latino, Channel 3, NBC 3/31/16

(segment starts at 15:29 to 19:02)

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CUNY Television 10/15/15

(segment starts at 18:25)

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