Napi Goes to the Mountain

Overview


When their father disappears one day, Napí and her little brother Niclé decide to leave their village to find him. They set off upriver on a raft. As they go, their search assumes a magical quality and becomes a journey of self-discovery. Turtles carry the raft on their backs; the children are transformed into deer; and other animals offer help and advice. Finally, an armadillo tells them that if they return home, they will find a big surprise awaiting them.

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Overview


When their father disappears one day, Napí and her little brother Niclé decide to leave their village to find him. They set off upriver on a raft. As they go, their search assumes a magical quality and becomes a journey of self-discovery. Turtles carry the raft on their backs; the children are transformed into deer; and other animals offer help and advice. Finally, an armadillo tells them that if they return home, they will find a big surprise awaiting them.

Featuring richly evocative art by the award-winning illustrator Domi, Napí Goes to the Mountain has the imaginative interest and timeless appeal of the Mexican folk culture that inspired it.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
Napi returns to narrate another magical adventure with roots in Mexico's Mazatec Indian culture. When her father has not come home and the villagers have searched in vain, Napi and her little brother Nicle take their raft out on the river to find him. First they are carried by turtles, one of which Napi has helped in the past. A flight of storks makes them dizzy and they faint. They wake up transformed into deer. They continue searching the jungle, asking the creatures they meet if they have seen their father. They finally get a message that he is home. Back at the raft, they become human again and float in the stream, accompanied by their "brothers and sisters, children of the same mother of the Earth," to a happy reunion with the family. Domi uses watery watercolors to create the actors and the jungle settings that are magical in their innocence, with hints of naturalism combined with an impressionistic childlike charm. Browns dominate the backgrounds of the double-page scenes, helping set off the special brilliance of the reds and oranges used to create the characters and flowers. The powerful emotions evoked offer insights into the mystical culture and its respect for Mother Earth. There is a glossary of native words used.
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3
In this second story about Napí, the young Mazateca girl's father hasn't returned from work in the fields, so she and her younger brother go in search of him. Their quest leads them on a magical journey upriver and through the jungle, where they encounter animals prominent in Mexican folklore and are transformed into deer. None of the creatures they meet knows where their father is until an armadillo announces, "The family is finally together again." In company with the animals that are "like brothers and sisters, children of the same mother, of the Earth," the children race home to a joyful reunion with their father. "It was so good to see him that I forgot to worry about where he had been," says Napí. The large, flat watercolor spreads extend almost to the full length of the pages, leaving room for the brief text across the bottom. Domi combines the bold colors associated with Mexican culture with large areas of brown washes, perhaps to highlight the siblings' anxiety at their father's disappearance-a neighbor "had seen some men hit him, then take him away"-and the dire situation of the Oaxacan people who must continually fight to keep their land. The transition back to reality happens abruptly and is a bit jarring, and some readers may have difficulty with the juxtaposition of brilliant color and dark shades. Nevertheless, the story may provide some insight into the lives of the poor in Oaxaca and their culture.
—Marianne SaccardiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780888997135
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/2006
  • Edition description: Translatio
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 1,419,558
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 12.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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