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Maya's Children: The Story of la Llorona
     

Maya's Children: The Story of la Llorona

by Rudolfo A. Anaya, Maria Baca (Illustrator)
 

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Maya is a happy and beautiful girl, who at birth bore the mark of the Sun God on her shoulder. This mark, the village priest informs her parents, means Maya is immortal. Senor Tiempo, the god of time, however, is incensed by this news. He allots each person their time on earth. But if he cannot have Maya, then he must have her children!

Overview

Maya is a happy and beautiful girl, who at birth bore the mark of the Sun God on her shoulder. This mark, the village priest informs her parents, means Maya is immortal. Senor Tiempo, the god of time, however, is incensed by this news. He allots each person their time on earth. But if he cannot have Maya, then he must have her children!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
In this colorful picture book, famous Chicano novelist, Rudolfo Anaya, has re-worked the spooky horrific legend of the Hispanic Southwest and Latin America. The tale has been traditionally used to scare children into coming home before dark, and Anaya version is a kinder, gentler tale, in which the mother, Maya, does not kill her children, but instead loses them to a tricky Senor Tiempo. Set in ancient Mexico, Anaya uses motifs from the natural world to bring out the mythic aspects of the tale. Vivid, child-like gouache paintings suit the mood of the story well. An author's note explains how the tale was adapted.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-4Throughout the Hispanic Americas and the southwestern U.S., generations of young people have heard the tale of "La Llorona," the crying woman who killed her children long ago and who wanders through the night wailing with grief and sometimes kidnapping unchaperoned youngsters. In this less violent version of the story, Anaya has created Maya, a baby born in ancient Mexico with a sun-shaped birthmark that renders her immortal. Angered by her immortality, Seor Tiempo, the god of time, vows to destroy Maya's future offspring. When she grows up and longs for companionship, an owl tells her how to grow babies in clay pots. If she saves the pots, the owl says, Seor Tiempo cannot hurt her children. Sadly, the god tricks Maya into throwing the pots into a lake, and the youngsters perish. Maya's pain-filled wails can still be heard at night. Although the original folktale is frightening, Anaya's poetic retelling is sad and wistful. Ethereal, gouache figures give the story a timeless, fantastic look. Pervasive dark shades heighten the tragedy. Children might enjoy comparing Joe Hayes's La Llorona (Cinco Puntos, 1986), a traditional rendition, with this variant. Gloria Anzalda's Prietita and the Ghost Woman (Children's Book Press, 1996) is also a gentler version of the story, but superior prose and a clearer explanation of La Llorona's misfortune make Anaya's retelling the better choice.Denise E. Agosto, Midland County Public Library, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786821242
Publisher:
Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:
05/28/1997
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.32(w) x 10.33(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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