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Fiesta Femenina: Celebrating Women in Mexican Folktale

Overview

Deep in the lush Mexican forests, amidst the tall mountains and the rushing rivers, dwells a great goddess. Her broad torso bends to form the sky and her legs rise to become the valleys and deserts. She is the earth, the land of Mexico, and if you listen closely, you will hear her calling "tengo hambre, tengo hambre," for she is always hungry.

Gifted storyteller Mary-Joan Gerson draws from Mexico's rich cultural traditions, including tales from the Mayan, Mixtec and Yaqui ...

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Overview

Deep in the lush Mexican forests, amidst the tall mountains and the rushing rivers, dwells a great goddess. Her broad torso bends to form the sky and her legs rise to become the valleys and deserts. She is the earth, the land of Mexico, and if you listen closely, you will hear her calling "tengo hambre, tengo hambre," for she is always hungry.

Gifted storyteller Mary-Joan Gerson draws from Mexico's rich cultural traditions, including tales from the Mayan, Mixtec and Yaqui peoples to create an authentic collection that reflects the many faces of Mexico's heroines. And Maya Christina Gonzalez's vibrant paintings brilliantly capture the spark behind the stories, and the noble dignity of these eight extraordinary women.

A collection that will be enjoyed time and time again, this is truly a fiesta -- for the eyes, the spirit and the heart.

A collection of folktales from various cultures in Mexico, all focusing on the important roles of women, such as Rosha, a young girl who rescues the sun; the goddess Tangu Yuh; Kesne, a Zapotec princess; and the Virgin Mary.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Eight more heroines representing different cultural traditions are noted in Fiesta Femenina: Celebrating Women in Mexican Folktales retold by Mary-Joan Gerson, illus. by Maya Christina Gonzalez. The famous legend of "The Virgin of Guadalupe" sits alongside the Mayan tale "Rosha and the Sun," in which a girl rescues the sun after her brother traps it, and the Aztec tale "Malintzin of the Mountain," sheds light on the controversial woman who fell for Cort?s and helped him conquer her own people. Vibrant illustrations in the tradition of each culture, and attractive borders that unify each tale, bring these women to life. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A sophisticated and well-told collection of stories about Mexican women, these eight tales include folklore from a variety of the country's rich cultural traditions. Beginning with Maya and Aztec stories, Gerson also relates folktales of Mixtec, Yaqui, and Euro-Mexican origin. The protagonists are all unique and powerful in differing ways, showing bravery, cunning, trustworthiness, empathy, and serene certainty. Running the gamut from religious ("The Virgin of Guadalupe") to traditional ("Blancaflor," in which a young woman uses magic to help her man) to comic ("Why the Moon is Free"), these selections are soundly composed, diverse, and celebratory of both the women and the land from which they come. Gerson's prose is lively and engaging, drawing readers in and conveying pictures of believable people in fantastic situations. Gonzalez's primitive acrylic paintings are strong and vigorous, and their riotous use of color enhances the stories tremendously. This is a highly successful melding of story and pictures, and will appeal to upper-elementary students-with a little selling to get them past the picture-book appearance. A worthy addition to most folktale collections, this is more child-oriented than John Bierhorst's The Monkey's Haircut (Morrow, 1986), and is enhanced by a thoughtful introduction and thorough source notes.-Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781841483658
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books
  • Publication date: 8/1/1901
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 10.72 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Rosha and the Sun 8
The Hungry Goddess 12
The Legend of Tangu Yuh 18
Why the Moon is Free 24
Green Bird 28
Blancaflor 34
The Virgin of Guadalupe 46
Malintzin of the Mountain 56
Sources 62
Spanish Glossary and Pronunciation Guide 64
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2001

    great fun! A good read!

    My kids & I truly enjoyed a totally different & exciting view of another culture. Ms. Gerson brought the people to life. Writing at its best. Thanx!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2001

    Mexican folktales with a feminine twist re-told beautifully

    I highly recommend this wonderful book. Mary-Joan Gerson has the rare gift of being able to re-tell indigenous tales in a manner which feels both authentic and respectful. Moreover, she captures the passion, intensity and mysticism of Mexican tales in particular very well, having travelled there extensively. The illustrations are beautiful too. Kids, women, adults interested in folktales and/or Latin America, and/or anyone with a sense of wonder will greatly enjoy this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2001

    I loved this book.

    This is a beautiful re-telling of Mexican folktales. I loved the colorful illustrations and the emphasis on women. I was impressed by the careful way the stories were authenticated. I think that children will really benefit from reading this book, both in terms of pleasure and in feeling more familiar with Mexican culture. My favorite stories were Rosha and the Sun, and the Virgin of Guadelupe, but all eight stories were wonderful. The most impressive aspect of this book is the writing. It is perfectly attuned to the age 8 and older group it is aimed at, with flowing prose that beautifully captures its Mexican theme. The writer clearly knows Mexico well. I highly recommend Fiesta Femenina.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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