The Gullywasher: El chaparron torrencial


Leticia's grandfather, who was a vaquero as a young man, provides fanciful explanations for how he got his wrinkles, white hair, round belly, and stooped frame.

Leticia's grandfather, who was a vaquero as a young man, provides fanciful explanations for how he got his wrinkles, white hair, round belly, and stooped frame.

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Leticia's grandfather, who was a vaquero as a young man, provides fanciful explanations for how he got his wrinkles, white hair, round belly, and stooped frame.

Leticia's grandfather, who was a vaquero as a young man, provides fanciful explanations for how he got his wrinkles, white hair, round belly, and stooped frame.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like cowboy stories 'round the campfire, this Southwestern tall tale gleefully turns from fact and gallops away with imagination. While watching a storm, a girl nudges her grandfather to tell of his range-riding days as a young vaquero. From his reminiscence of a ``gullywasher''-a severe thunderstorm whose flooding ruts the land-the grandfather spins a narrative explaining how the rain wrinkled his skin. Prompted by Leticia's questions, Abuelito continues with fantastic accounts of how he got his gray hair, stooped posture and rounded paunch (He ate whole corn kernels with a chaser of ``hot as fire'' chiles. ``They made the corn pop, pop, pop, and my stomach grew, grew, grew''). Rossi's watercolors, with their sunset-after-rain and red-clay-canyon hues, adhere closely to the cozy text. A glossary and pronunciation key help with the dozen or so Spanish words that pepper the narrative for an authentic Southwestern flavor. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Abuelito used to be a vaquero, a cowboy, back in the old days-did you know that's where the word 'buckaroo' comes from? And it's a mighty fine tall tale he can spin! He spins them here for his granddaughter Leticia, during a summer rainstorm, transporting the reader to a world of dust devils and lightning storms, cornmeal ground in a metate, and red-hot chili peppers. By the time we reach the end, the bond between the old man and the giggling little girl is every bit as "strong and sweet" as the "smell of the damp desert."
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-A gullywasher, or thundershower, drifts across a glowing pastel sky as Leticia and her grandfather begin a desert walk. At the little girl's request, Abuelito tells her a tall tale that explains how he came to look as he does. As a young vaquero (cowboy), he once could not find shelter during a severe gullywasher. The rain rushing over him caused his wrinkles. While taking a siesta after the storm, a hummingbird pulled out all of his dark hairs, leaving only the white ones. Abuelito goes on to explain his potbelly and his stooped back, and states his love for Leticia. The desert sun illuminates each lovely, double-page watercolor painting. Rossi's depictions of animals are especially fine. A helpful author's note describes vaquero storytelling and prepares the audience for a tall tale. Spanish words dot the text and are defined in a concise glossary. The tender story and beautiful artwork will be enjoyed by both Hispanic and non-Hispanic audiences. Pair it with Susan Lowell's Three Little Javelinas (Northland, 1992) for a Southwestern story time.-Denise E. Agosto, Midland County Public Library, TX
Kay Weisman
nger for reading aloud. As Leticia and her grandfather watch a summer rainstorm approach their ranch, he reminisces about his experiences as a young cowboy. Abuelito describes a torrential gully washer that causes his hands and face to become permanently wrinkled. His hair becomes completely white after a hummingbird plucks all the dark-colored strands from his head. His stomach swells when a snack of corn with hot chile peppers makes the kernels pop. And carrying a horse on his shoulders results in his permanently stooped posture. Rossi's humorous tall tale in picture-book format features a generous sprinkling of Spanish terms, bright watercolors, and many regional details. In an introductory note, the author explains the dangers of gully washers and the role of storytelling; an appended glossary defines foreign terms. A good choice for story hours, creative writing classes, or primary units on the Southwest.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873587280
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Publishing Llc
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1 PBK ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,371,367
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.18 (w) x 10.62 (h) x 0.11 (d)

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