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Children's LiteraturePoetically written and boldly illustrated, this is a rather odd tale of a mythic creature who appears to young girls on the cusp of womanhood. Rufina, a pretty young Pipil/Nahua girl of El Salvador, is told by her mother that soon she will see the Zipitio down by the river. "The Zipitio wants to be the very first boyfriend of every girl." Rufina listens as her mother relates the story of a rich woman who once lived nearby. When the wealthy woman refused to tell robbers where her money was hidden, the robbers took her son to a witch who cast an evil spell, turning him into the Zipitio who now lives along the riverbanks. He is a strange, deformed creature, and when Rufina does see him she is frightened. In this retold tale, Rufina is able to convince the Zipitio to go to the sea and bring her back a wave. After that she never sees him again, but she knows that one-day she will have a daughter, and Rufina plans to tell her all about the Zipitio. 2003, Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre, Ages 6 to 8.
— Carolyn Mott Ford