Retells the Zapotec legend of Lucia Zenteno, a beautiful woman with magical powers who is exiled from a mountain village and takes its water away in punishment.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyMore beautiful than the sun, loved by the whole of nature, purveyor of quiet goodwill, Lucia Zenteno is a part of the story-telling tradition of Mexico's Zapotec Indians. In this English-Spanish retelling, Lucia's fate at the hands of unkind strangers is captured in artwork glowing with color and vitality. When the dazzling girl arrives in a village, it is no surprise that the river falls in love with her, rising ``from its bed . . . to flow through her shining black hair.'' The villagers are less welcoming, however, and only on discovering the loss of their glorious river do they repent of their cruelty toward the mysterious Lucia. While the plot is somewhat limited and moralistic (the Golden Rule is heavily applied) and the writing occasionally plodding, much of the imagery is refreshing--``she combed out the fishes, she combed out the otters.'' Surreal illustrations, calling to mind a stylistic mixture of William Joyce and Karen Barbour, highlight the richness of the folktale convention and perfectly capture a sense of place. Ages 7-up. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink RoffinoA Zapotec legend from Mexico, this is the story of Lucia, a quiet beauty so remarkable, the elders said, she outshone the sun. In the small village of Oaxaca, now a large state, she is instantly beloved by the river and all things natural, but the young people of the village were jealous of her and less than kind. Each page contains the Spanish translation and South American art that is bold and bright.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 3-- Lucia Zenteno is a mythic character, a woman of great beauty who is perfectly in tune with nature. She is indeed larger than life, and though beloved by the creatures of the countryside, she becomes the target of human hatred and fear and is driven out of her village because she is different. It is only as nature mourns and the river leaves with her that the people realize that theyneed her. This original Hispanic folktale is skillfully told, and is solid and colorfully steeped with imagery of the earth and sky. Both the Spanish and English read gracefully, and the poetic use of language suits the story well for telling. The illustrations have a sense of volume that is reminiscent of Orozco, and the bright colors communicate equally well the heat of the drying land and the coolness of the returning river. An excellent discussion starter, dealing as it does with issues of the differences between people and respect for nature, the book has a natural place in multicultural and environmental units. Pair it with Carmen Lomas Garza's Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia (Children's Book Pr., 1990) to look at the cultural and artistic aspects or with books such as Jean George's One Day in the Tropical Rain Forest (HarperCollins, 1990) to emphasize our responsibility for our earth. --Ann Welton, Thomas Academy, Kent, WA
- Demco Media
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.94(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.36(d)
- Age Range:
- 8 - 11 Years
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