Vejigantes Masquerader

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Delacre, Lulu New York, NY 1993 Hard cover First Scholastic printing. New in new dust jacket. Signed by author. Text in English, Spanish. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. ... Contains: Illustrations. Audience: Children/juvenile. Includes glossary of Spanish terms, masquerades from other countries and instructions on how to make your own mask Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Carnival is a time of celebration throughout Latin America, but in the town of Ponce on the island of Puerto Rico the festivities extend long before and after the Carnival season. Young Ramon has dreamed of becoming a vejigante , one of the many men and boys who dress up in clownlike costumes and devilish masks. Unbeknownst to his mother, the lad has saved up his money and has used his sewing skills to make his own costume. As he joins the other vejigantes , readers get a tour of the streets of Ponce and of the festival atmosphere. Ramon finally attains his greatest goal--to become part of El Gallo's pranksterish vejigante band--in an act of bravado with a goat that tatters his costume. While Carnival is a raucous and happy time, only a glimpse of it is offered here: Ramon seems too careworn with money concerns, and the revelers in the artwork, especially Ramon's mother, look unhappy rather than joyous. Although Delacre's bilingual work presents a slice of life not seen before in picture books, she has not pulled her abundant information together, and the book ultimately fails to capture the essence of its subject. Ages 5-8. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Delacre shares her heritage in this story of a young boy in Puerto Rico who makes the perfect carnival costume. A bilingual story that includes a glossary, notes on Latin America, chants, and instructions for making a vejigante mask. Reviewed extensively and selected as an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-- Carnival is near, and Ramon longs to masquerade along with the older boys, the vejigantes , in the month-long celebration . He secretly makes his own costume; acquires a mask; and, with spirits soaring, eagerly awaits the first of February. It is Carnival at last, and he parades proudly and undetected until his courage is challenged by a stray goat whose horns shred his costume and reveal the little boy. Yet admired by all, Ramon's quest for acceptance is no less than a rite of passage in which he carries on the traditions of his people in Puerto Rico. The bilingual text, along with muted, earth-toned illustrations settles like a gentle blanket to embrace readers with subthemes of both personal and cultural strength and beauty. Concluding the story are facts on the vejigante in various Latin American countries, mask-making instructions, and traditional chants. Useful on many levels and to many degrees, Delacre's latest gem will be an exquisite addition to Spanish-language or bilingual sections, as well as general collections in schools or public libraries. --Cynthia Cordes, Onondaga County Public Library, Syracuse, NY
Graciela Italiano
er for students of Spanish. "For nine afternoons and one night Ramon had secretly made his first "vejigante" costume." Being a "vejigante", or masquerader for Carnival, is what Ramon wants most in the world. He especially wishes to join El Gallo's group because it plays the most daring pranks. Inspired by the February Carnival festivities in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where she grew up, Delacre has brought to life the traditions of Carnival parades, with their colorful costumes, papier-mache masks, and good-natured pranks performed by children and adults while in disguise. The Spanish text is rich , with authentic vocabulary and sentence construction, making this especially appropriate to use with native Spanish speakers at the middle and upper elementary grade levels. The English text, though simpler, accurately evokes the feelings and subtleties afforded the reader of Spanish. The layout of the book, with English and Spanish texts on the same page but in different colored type, is effective in guiding the reader of either language. Delacre's full-color and sepia-tone illustrations reveal her intimate acquaintance with Puerto Rican culture. Scenes of the interiors of houses realistically depict the daily environment without sentimentality or condescension, while outdoor scenes vividly capture the spirit of this tropical island. The characters are also realistically developed beyond the text by their facial expressions. A brief introductory note on "vejigantes" in Puerto Rico acquaints the reader with the tradition. The last pages include brief accounts of similar traditions in Spain and Latin America, a step-by-step guide to making a "vejigante" mask, chants traditionally used by "vejigantes" and the watching crowds, a glossary, and a bibliography. Young readers will be challenged to find the 28 lizards (one for each of the 28 days of February) hidden in the pictures.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590457767
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/1993
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.27 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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