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Monkey's Haircut: And Other Stories Told by the Maya

Monkey's Haircut: And Other Stories Told by the Maya

by John Bierhorst, Robert A. Parker (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-9 A collection of 22 stories told by the Maya people of Mexico, some of which are from ancient traditions and some of which reflect the influence of Western European traditions on Mexican folk tales. Bierhorst has included a lengthy introduction to help teachers and librarians see the connections between these tales and those of the West and to point out how the tales reflect the life style and beliefs of the Maya people. Younger readers may want to skip the introduction and just enjoy the tales about compadres and misers and lazy sons. They will also enjoy finding the similarities to tales they know: the stories about Rabbit are very like the North American Br'er Rabbit tales, and ``The Lost Children'' is a variant of ``Hansel and Gretel.'' Because these tales have been recorded from the original tellers, there is an earthiness about some of the tales that some might find disconcerting. The naturalness of the telling, however, makes these tales perfect for sharing aloud. Each story is illustrated by a simple black-and-white drawing which highlights a special moment in the tale. As Baker's No Help at All (Greenwillow, 1978; o.p.) is one of the few titles on Mayan folklore, Bierhorst's book provides a valuable addition to folklore collections. It also makes a fine companion book to his earlier work, The Hungry Woman: Myths and Legends of the Aztec (Morrow, 1984). Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 9.33(h) x 0.71(d)
Age Range:
10 Years

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