Honey Jar

( 1 )

Overview


The Honey Jar retells the ancient stories Rigoberta Menchú's grandparents told her when she was a little girl, and we can imagine her listening to them by the fire at night. These Mayan tales include natural phenomena narratives and animal stories. The underworld, the sky, the sun and moon, plants, people, animals, gods, and demigods are all players in these vibrant stories. Enchanting images by Domi draw on the Mayan landscape and the rich visual vocabulary that can be found in the weavings and crafts for which...
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Overview


The Honey Jar retells the ancient stories Rigoberta Menchú's grandparents told her when she was a little girl, and we can imagine her listening to them by the fire at night. These Mayan tales include natural phenomena narratives and animal stories. The underworld, the sky, the sun and moon, plants, people, animals, gods, and demigods are all players in these vibrant stories. Enchanting images by Domi draw on the Mayan landscape and the rich visual vocabulary that can be found in the weavings and crafts for which the Maya are renowned.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This author is a Nobel Peace Prize winner and Mayan activist who retells the ancient stories her grandparents told her when she was a child. There are twelve stories in this collection dealing with animal tales, the sun and moon, plants, people, and gods. Some of their titles are: "The Amazing Twins," "The Story of the Weasel Who Helped People Find Corn," "The Keepers of the Earth," and "Grandmother Moon and Grandfather Sun Were Bored." In this latter story, Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon are very sad. Although Grandfather Sun loves Grandmother Moon, he feels something is missing, so together they create stars from the four hundred boys that appear in the sacred book, The Popul Vuh. But soon they are bored watching the stars, so they decide to have them speak, but the stars do not say a word. So Grandfather Sun makes a sunspot explode, and then he bumps into the stars and they become meteorites. But still they are bored. They decide to create two spirits who would give them happiness. One is named The Heart of Heaven and The Heart of Earth. Grandmother Moon and Grandfather Sun are so happy that they form a large circle with the stars and dance all day long. The illustrations in this book are done by a native Mexican artist named Domi. They are colorful and symbolic of Mayan folktales. Back matter includes a glossary of Mayan words. Older children will enjoy reading these magical stories. 2002, Groundwood Books, Ages 10 up.
—Della A. Yannuzzi
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-Universal in appeal, this collection of 12 Mayan tales would be a significant addition to any library's holdings. The ancient stories are those that the author's grandparents shared with her when she was a child. The anthology includes creation myths, animal tales, twin tales (because twins are believed to have special powers), as well as stories that explain natural phenomena such as rainbows. "Where It's Revealed That Each Thing Has a Spirit" explains the book's title; the spirit, Rajaw Juyub', the "one who judges the way people treat nature," is honored by being given candles, flowers, and a "lot of honey." Domi's illustrations, done in oil, are boldly colorful and complement the stories well. Mench 's concluding words suggest the optimal way of sharing: these stories "should be heard at night, sitting around a fire, just before you shut your eyes and begin to dream."-Alexa Sandmann, Kent State University, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Grandmother Moon, Grandfather Sun, Mother Earth and Father Sun all have a part to play in this collection of a dozen Mayan myths that reveal the nature of events, animals and even humans that inhabit the earth. For example, "The Amazing Twins" tale explains why toads now eat insects, snakes eat toads and how eagles came to eat snakes. The value of work is explained in "The Man Who Became a Buzzard." Each tale focuses on another phenomenon of Mother Earth or Father Sun. Domi's richly lush paintings, full of brilliant color, stylistically portray the essence of each tale, adding imagery and visual interpretation. This collection by a Nobel Peace Prize winner is a first-purchase addition to any library that includes African legends and myths, Native-American how and why stories and the literary tales of Rudyard Kipling. (Folktales. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780888996701
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Edition description: Translatio
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 1,164,188
  • Age range: 9 years
  • Lexile: NC850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2006

    Entertaining, imaginative, and vibrant

    Written by Noble Peace Prize winner and Mayan activist Rigoberta Menchu with the assistance Dante Liano and enhanced with full color artwork by Domi, The Honey Jar is an entertaining collection of short stories and encouraging tales drawn from the author's childhood growing up in a Mayan culture. These are tales and stories her grandparents told during her childhood, collected under one cover and offering a new generation of children a special insights into a Native American culture's captivating and imaginative folklore offering explanations of certain natural phenomena, magical twins, the sky, the sun and the moon, animals, plants, and the gods. Especially suitable for school and community library Folklore/Mythology collections for children, The Honey Jar is a very highly recommended read as a high interest for any young reader for its entertaining, imaginative, and vibrant tales, fables, and mysteries.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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