Dona Flor

Dona Flor

4.5 2
by Pat Mora, Raul Colon

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Doña Flor is a giant lady who lives in a tiny village in the American Southwest. Popular with her neighbors, she lets the children use her flowers as trumpets and her leftover tortillas as rafts. Flor loves to read, too, and she can often be found reading aloud to the children.

One day, all the villagers hear a terrifying noise: it sounds like a huge


Doña Flor is a giant lady who lives in a tiny village in the American Southwest. Popular with her neighbors, she lets the children use her flowers as trumpets and her leftover tortillas as rafts. Flor loves to read, too, and she can often be found reading aloud to the children.

One day, all the villagers hear a terrifying noise: it sounds like a huge animal bellowing just outside their village. Everyone is afraid, but not Flor. She wants to protect her beloved neighbors, so with the help of her animal friends, she sets off for the highest mesa to find the creature. Soon enough, though, the joke is on Flor and her friends, who come to rescue her, as she discovers the small secret behind that great big noise.

The creators of Tomás and the Library Lady, Pat Mora and Raul Colón, have once again joined together. This time they present a heartwarming and humorous original tall tale—peppered with Spanish words and phrases—about a giant lady with a great big heart.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Children enjoy reading tall tales. Colon's unique style of an intriguing combination of watercolor washes, colored litho pencils, and etching give this tale a sense of something that happened a long time ago. In this tale they meet Dona Flor, who is a giant. When Flor was young, her mother sang to her. Her mother's songs made the corn stalks grow as tall as trees and they made Flor grow very tall too. Imagine what happens when Flor walks, when she sings. Every day Flor makes corn tortillas for the people in her village. What they do not eat of the giant tortillas they use for other things, such as a roof for their home, a raft for sailing, and much more. Flor wants everyone to feel at home in her house. She tells the people and animals, "Mi casa es su casa." They call her Dona Flor because they respect her. One day, no one comes to get any corn tortillas. When Dona Flor finds out that everyone stayed indoors because they heard a huge lion near their village, she goes to look for the lion. It takes her a few days to find this lion. The reader will be surprised to find out what is making the loud roars. This book is a great addition to a reading curriculum. Teachers can use it to discuss fiction, truth, and exaggeration, as well as to develop reading comprehension techniques. 2005, Alfred A. Knopf, Ages 5 to 8.
—Liz Rice
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-A charming tall tale set in the American Southwest. Dona Flor, a giant, is a benevolent presence in her pueblo. While at first kids teased the young and large Flor, she quickly became an asset to them, whisking them off to school when they were running late or making tortillas big enough to be used as rafts on the river. The action starts when a puma is heard howling in the vicinity; the villagers are terrified and even Dona Flor can't find it. The animals know where the gato is so she follows their advice and the situation is delightfully resolved. Colon uses his signature mix of watercolor washes, etching, and litho pencils for the art. There is great texture and movement on each page in the sun-baked tones of the landscape. With Spanish words peppered throughout, this is a welcome entry to the canon that includes other heroines like Sally Ann Thunder and Thunder Rose.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Do-a Flor, beautiful giantess of the American Southwest, is so tall she plucks estrellas from the sky and grabs snow from mountaintops to wake herself up in the morning. Her corn tortillas are so big that her neighbors use the extra ones as roofs. This gentle giant is una amiga and protector to all, so when a roaming, roaring mountain lion begins to scare the villagers, she vows to find the guilty gato. Since she speaks all languages (even rattler), she recruits her animal friends and successfully locates the kittenish culprit on a mesa-a tiny prankster puma using a long, hollow log to generate a big "Rrrr-oarrr!" that echoes down the valley. Do-a Flor, serene as la luna, turns the roars to purrs and all ends well with Pumito sleeping atop her big toes. Col-n's gorgeous illustrations (with his round, swirling scratchboard style in warm, buttery colors) steal the show here, as the pleasantly rhythmic but overly meandering tall tale isn't arresting enough plot-wise to avoid bogging down in its heaps of hyperbole. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
14.10(w) x 11.26(h) x 0.16(d)
AD860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Award-winning author Pat Mora writes poetry, nonfiction, and children’s books. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Raul Colón has been awarded gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators for his picture-book art. He lives in New City, New York.

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Dona Flor 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
NaomiCamacho More than 1 year ago
I miss books like this. This book took me away to a fairy tale land where there's a giant lady that makes giant tortillas. Now who could ask for more than giant tortillas? The storyline was a fun one to read, one I think many children would enjoy. The pictures were very vibrant and very big. I also like how the author incorporated the Hispanic culture into the writings. There was some nice spanish words thrown in. I'd say it's a book everyone should read at least once.
PatriciaJL More than 1 year ago
I loved this picture book. Not only were the illustrations gorgeous and very unique, the author's writing style, plot, and tone filled me up with happiness and warmth. This picture book brought a smile to my face. Dona Flor is a giant lady who lives in a handmade pueblo. She can also speak every single language ever known, including the languages for animals (i.e. rattler). Dona Flor is so large because her mother sung to her as a child out of her love for her. Flor does the same thing now - she sings to her plants and animals out of love for them. She loves to read to the children outside of the library and make sure that all her animals and neighbors are always welcomed inside of her home. One day all of her neighbors and animals are scared after hearing a loud "roarr". Flor tries to find the huge gato that is making her friends scared. When she finally finds the gato she sees that it is actually a small cat 'roarring' into a large hollow tree trunk. Instead of getting angry she is happy and sleeps in the clouds with the cat sleeping on her big toe. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous!! Pat Mora also mixes Spanish words into her sentences, and also makes sure that they words used are explained, either by directly telling you or through the context of the sentence. Her tone is very loving and full of warmth. Dona Flor is characterized by her unyielding love she has for everyone and everything, which is translated into her actions and tenderness and understanding. Not once does she get angry in the book, even after she finds the cat that is scaring her friends; once she sees he is small she laughs out of joy and invites her into her life.