Kids today grow up knowing all about recycling. But when Joe Hayes was a kid, recycling hadn't been invented. Money was so tight for Joe's family that they had to be inventive about using and reusing everything. They didn't call it recycling, they called it making do. Joe says his family was dirt-poor. In fact, he says, they lived in a wide-open stretch of played-out land where even the dirt was broke, so impoverished that all anyone could manage to get out of it was beans. Beans and more beans, that's all folks grew and that's all folks ate. So imagine the family's delight when Joe's father turned up one day with a big fat hambone! There was rejoicing all over the place, especially at the dinner table that night. Joe's mother was determined to make that bone last as long as she possibly could. As thrifty as she was, she would have done just that except the neighbors got wind of the bone's arrival. Being neighborly, she just had to share that bone. That's when this Tall Tale got even TALLER.
Joe Hayes is such a stylish raconteur that kids can't resist listening to him. Like that recycled hambone, generations of kids have been passing that Hayes and his books around and around, the kids now squeezing as much joy out of him as their mothers and fathers did before them. Hayes lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but travels all over the Southwest telling his stories.
About the Author
Joe Hayes is the author of over twenty books for children and young adults. His writing style is storytelling-tested and has its roots in the oral traditions of the American Southwest. Each summer, he delights children and adults alike with his summertime storytelling performances at Santa Fe’s Wheelwright Museum. The rest of the year finds him speaking to thousands of readers around the United States at schools, libraries, and conferences. His book Ghost Fever/Mal de Fantasma won the Texas Bluebonnet Award in 2007. Dance, Nana, Dance / Baila, Nana, Baila, his collection of folktales from Cuba, won the Aesop Prize in 2009. The New Mexico Library Association named Joe the Centennial Storyteller in 2010, a storyteller so good he only comes around once every 100 years!
Antonio Castro Lopez (L.) was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and has lived in the Juarez-El Paso area for most of his life. He has illustrated dozens of childrens’ books including Barry, the Bravest Saint Bernard (Random House), Pajaro Verde, The Treasure on Gold Street, The Day It Snowed Tortillas and The Gum-Chewing Rattler (Cinco Puntos Press). His artwork for My Tata's Remedies/Los remedios de mi tata won a Pura Belpré Honor for illustration.