El forastero y el gallo rojo

El forastero y el gallo rojo

by Victor Villasenor
     
 
One day in a small California barrio, a scary-looking stranger with an ugly scar on his face arrives. Silence falls on the streets. Normally raucous children stop playing, and their fearful mothers quickly beckon them inside. Everyone peeks out of windows and doors to watch the stranger walk down Main Street.

Later in the week, the stranger again appears in

Overview

One day in a small California barrio, a scary-looking stranger with an ugly scar on his face arrives. Silence falls on the streets. Normally raucous children stop playing, and their fearful mothers quickly beckon them inside. Everyone peeks out of windows and doors to watch the stranger walk down Main Street.

Later in the week, the stranger again appears in town. And a few days later, on a pleasant Sunday morning, the man shows his frightening face yet again. But this time, he's not alone. Cradled in the stranger's arms is a big, red rooster with a yellow ribbon tied around its neck. When the rooster sets off after a bug with the stranger hanging on to the ribbon "like a cowboy who had lassoed a wild bull," the townspeople are finally able to look past the long, ugly scar on the stranger's face.

Echoing the oral tradition common to so many Latinos, acclaimed author Victor Villaseñor shares with young readers one of his father's favorite stories. With vibrant illustrations by José Jara, this will soon become the favorite of many children aged 3 to 7.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"...with vibrant, stylized illustrations and swirling backgrounds of brilliant colors...The text offer[s] great opportunities for reading alone or dramatizing as a play....intensely colored, stylized art shows a natural world full of bright sunlight, richly shadowed crow feathers, and backgrounds with subtle layers of color..strength lies in its traditional origins, its striking illustrations, and the overall message that, occasionally, children can teach their parents a thing or two."
Children's Literature
One day a stranger arrives in the barrio of Carlsbad, San Diego, California. Silence falls as the people see his scarred face; mothers call the children inside. On Sunday morning, outside the church, the stranger is holding a red rooster with a yellow ribbon tied around its neck. When the rooster begins to chase a fat bug, the stranger is dragged along behind, still holding the ribbon. Exhausted and unable to stop the rooster, the man finally ties the rooster to a tree. By this time the previously suspicious townsfolk have begun to laugh. The children come to pet the rooster and soon everyone becomes friendly with the stranger. His horrible scar is forgotten. Jara's full-page scenes tell the visual story of this subtly moral tale in an unsophisticated style, depicting the village and inhabitants with an innocent naturalism. Faces display appropriate emotions; the scar is both superficially ugly, yet generates compassion. The star of this low-key melodrama is the rooster, introduced in wild action on the cover. Its feathers are like small mosaics set in regular patterns; its detailed beak and feet reach toward the bug amid the foliage. 2006, Arte Publico Press, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature - Maria E. Gentle
When a stranger with a big ugly scar on his face comes to Carlos Malo, Carlsbad, a small town in San Diego County, everyone is afraid of him. The children stop playing, stop laughing, and stare at him. Their mothers come out of their homes and stare at him. The town grows silent. Quickly the moms bring their children into their homes. They are afraid that looking at such a deformed man will surely give their children nightmares. Eventually the stranger shows up again, this time with a rooster in his arms. This rooster is sporting a yellow ribbon around his neck. All of the sudden, the rooster takes off racing after a big bug. The rooster almost yanks the man off his feet as he tries to hold on to the yellow ribbon. Everyone seeing this breaks into laughter. After that episode everyone treats the stranger differently. Such is the power of laughter. Villasenor shows that laughter can make a stranger a friend. This tale based on Villasenor's father's oral tradition comes to life in the bright colored illustrations of Jose Jara. Oranges predominate among reds, yellows, greens, and blues. The Stranger and the Red Rooster not only teaches that laughter is the best medicine, but also that we should not always judge a book by its cover. Appearances can be deceiving. This title would be welcomed in any school and public library. Reviewer: Maria E. Gentle
Kirkus Reviews
Once again an animal plays a central role in Villaseor's story, but this time the other characters are human. When a stranger walks into the small town of Carlsbad, Calif., both children and adults primarily notice the scar that disfigures his face and refuse to interact or offer him the work he seeks. But when he shows up on Sunday after church, carrying his rooster with a bright ribbon around its neck, the ice is broken: The powerful bird, lunging after crickets, almost pulls the man off of his feet. When he finally manages to restrain the rooster, and while everyone is roaring with laughter, the children approach to pet the bird and the adults to introduce themselves. Villase-or's lesson against judging by appearances is apparent, but the heart of the story is the humor inherent in the rooster's greedy hunger. Jara's illustrations are detailed, featuring slightly exaggerated faces and the desert flora and simple adobe dwellings of southern California several decades in the past. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558854208
Publisher:
Arte Publico Press
Publication date:
04/30/2006
Edition description:
Spanish-language Edition
Pages:
26
Sales rank:
1,384,460
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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