The First Tortilla: A Bilingual Storyby Rudolfo Anaya, Amy Córdova (Illustrator), Enrique R. Lamadrid (Translator)
Jade is a young girl who lives in a village next to a towering volcano. On its peak lives a Mountain Spirit who makes his presence known by rumbling the earth, filling the sky with smoke, and pouring lava down the mountainside. Angered by those who forget to honor him for providing their harvest, the Mountain Spirit has stopped sending rain to Jade's village and
Jade is a young girl who lives in a village next to a towering volcano. On its peak lives a Mountain Spirit who makes his presence known by rumbling the earth, filling the sky with smoke, and pouring lava down the mountainside. Angered by those who forget to honor him for providing their harvest, the Mountain Spirit has stopped sending rain to Jade's village and the people are faced with the possibility of having to abandon their homes and land.
As Jade collects water from the near-dry lake, a blue hummingbird--a messenger from the Mountain Spirit--tells Jade she must take a gift to the Mountain Spirit and ask for rain. Guided by the hummingbird, Jade presents her food offering to the Mountain Spirit. Pleased, the spirit offers the brave girl corn kernels that she takes back to her village and uses to create the first tortilla.
Anaya has retold a Mexican legend and made it his own with his spiritual prose. Jade's people are struggling. Her mother tells her that because there is no rain, there will soon be no food. Without sustenance, the villagers will have to leave their homes at the foot of the volcano where they have lived for generations. Then Jade is told by a hummingbird that she should visit the Mountain Spirit on the peak of the volcano to ask for his help. The spirit is pleased with her bravery and faith and not only grants her rain, but also gives her some corn kernels. Jade uses them to create masa, dough that is baked into the first tortilla. Córdova's rich acrylic paintings lend a traditional feel to the setting while maintaining the tale's mystical elements. A beautifully written and illustrated title.
Susan E. MurrayCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- University of New Mexico Press
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.10(d)
- Age Range:
- 9 - 13 Years
Meet the Author
Rudolfo Anaya, widely acclaimed as one of the founders of modern Chicano literature, is professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico. He is best known for the classic Bless Me Ultima.
Amy Córdova of Taos, New Mexico, is an artist, arts educator, and activist, renowned for her highly contextualized depictions of Latino cultures. She has illustrated over seventeen children’s books and has been awarded the prestigious American Library Association Pura Belpré Award twice, in 2008 and 2010.
Enrique R. Lamadrid is a literary folklorist and cultural historian in the University of New Mexico's Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
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