Author Talks / Readings

by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

roni capin rivera-ashford reading to children

Roni's Experience

As an educator for more than 35 years and a presenter for nearly 15 years, I have shared with audiences of all ages. I have presented to toddlers through senior citizens - students, educators, librarians, parents and community members around my home state of Arizona and across the country, all the way to Montevideo, Uruguay, South America.

My audiences enjoy learning and sharing. I incorporate cultural, as well as family history and traditions, into reading and writing - encouraging love of literacy. Most exciting to participants of any age is how they can bring to life for themselves and their families what I teach; write about the past and present to preserve their histories for future generations. This experience encourages individuals to learn more about and embrace their own lives thus ultimately respect all who share our Planet.

A new brilliance to Roni's visits comes from her husband, Danny. He brings an added spark of educational and motivational wisdom to the children and adults who are fortunate enough to share in this unique experience. Roni & Danny delight their audiences as they genuinely and sincerely share from their life experiences as bilingual educators who both grew up on the U.S.- Mexico border. They both speak of multicultural connections, which come from their heritages as well as their hearts.


"Working with you & your school community to enrich the lives of children & families through literacy and cultural connections will be my honor & pleasure."

Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford
International, National & State Bilingual Award-Winning Author


Feedback from Teachers and Librarians around the country:

roni capin rivera-ashford reading to children

dotLanguage exposure was great! Students learned a lot in a little amount of time.

dotIt is absolutely worth the additional expense for transportation & travel to bring Roni out-of-state because her presentation is very relevant to students with different cultural backgrounds.

dotMany students could relate; also because students were able to hear more about the writing and publishing process from someone who has really done it and DIDN'T GIVE UP!

dotThey love the bilingual aspect!

dotIt is important to bring authentic authors who can relate to our students and encourage their literacy.

dotThe "hands-on" features that Roni and her husband shared were unique and made the stories come alive. They were so enthusiastic!

Participants' memories and creativity come to life as their senses of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch are energized through interactive activities and audience participation.


Mr. Ashford playing the Balero


Story and Instructions for the BALERO aka Cup and Ball or Ring and Pin
Compiled by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford, 2014


The history of Balero is not clear, yet has some amazing stories. No one is sure if this game originated in France in the 10th century, known as bilboquet, or if the Eskimos, Ojibwa and Algonquin Indians created the first ones from bone or sharp stick with a leather string usually made of deer hide. This game became popular in Mexico by the 16th century.


The object of the game in those days was to put the bone or stick through the holes of the leather piece. Cup and Ball or Ring and Pin are two other names by which it is known in more modern times, and the goal is similar with variations of objects.

There are many other names for this traditional game in different countries from all over the world. Check it out and you’ll see that it has been a popular game in most cultures. www.elbalero.com

King Henry III of France enjoyed this game so much, he was often seen playing it in public. In other countries, centuries ago, some royalty and upper class people had baleros, bilboquets carved from ivory. Some of these people would carry one in their pocket to keep themselves entertained when they had nothing else to say or do.

This game is excellent for helping develop eye-hand coordination and accuracy, plus learn that practice improves your skills with this game, or just about anything in life that you want to get good at.

The simpler model is made of wood - a cup with a ball connected by a string. The object is not to use any other body part except your hands and propel the ball attempting to get it to land inside the cup.

When using the more advanced balero, the goal is to propel the wooden sphere and find a way to get it to land on the stick. The stick is made so it fits perfectly in the hole which is carved into the bottom of the sphere.

There are several different styles of play and each one has a designated number of points that can be earned. Some of these game names are: la simple, la doble, la vertical, la mariquita, la puñalada, and la porteña. Some tricks that can be done are capirucho, por atrás, and media vuelta. You may find these online.

Remember, have fun, be safe, be a good sport and as Tata says, “Practice makes perfect!”


Dual Language (English/Spanish)


3 Talks / Readings ~ 30 to 45 minutes each
$1,100 per day - same site
$150 per same day site change

Single Talk / Reading
$475 for single talk/reading
$575 for Parent / Family Night / Keynote Speaker
K thru 12th grade

Additional Information:
dotSpecial book purchase, discount prices and signed books available upon request
dotTravel/Lodging/Per Diem Expenses added, when applicable
dotPersonalized experience, assembly or keynote available on request
dotTotal Group Sensory + Interactive, center-based and experiential

To book Author Visits, Keynote Talks or discuss in further detail, please text, e-mail or call.
E-Mail: info@butterflyheartbooks.com
Phone: (520) 982-8054

Curriculum Materials:

Tatas Remedies Bilingual Lesson Plan

Download Tata's Remedies Bilingual Lesson Plan
Created by Amber James
Used by permission of Cinco Puntos Press




Monsoon Day Lesson Plan for 1st and 2nd Grade

Download Monsoon Day Lesson Plan for 1st and 2nd Grade
Created by Karen Guerrero
Arizona Geographic Alliance




Monsoon Day Lesson Plan for 4th Grade

Download Monsoon Day Lesson Plan for 4th Grade
Created by Gale Olp Ekiss
Arizona Geographic Alliance