Both a blessing to a child and a tribute to parenthood, this superb keepsake book by renowned Chicana poet and author Ana Castillo was inspired by ancient Aztec chants. It’s the ideal gift to commemorate any of various momentous events in an older child’s life–such as graduation, an important birthday, a quincea-era, or a family occasion. In words and pictures, the book’s two sections–one for a daughter and one for a son–trace the milestones of growing up and reflect parental joy and pride in the process. Like an illuminated manuscript in a new-world context, the illustrations by S. Guevara stylistically combine Aztec elements with strong contemporary images on bark. This wholly original creation has a multicultural appeal and a radiance that makes it a book everyone will want to give or receive.
Gr 7 Up-In a work best suited for adults, Castillo reworks ancient Nahuatl chants into modern form. The poetic text celebrates rites of passage in a young person’s life, from birth through childhood and young adulthood, to marriage and parenthood. Two sections, one for a daughter and one for a son, share lessons, chiefly of self-respect and respect for other living things. “When you speak, speak/not too loud/and not soft/but with honest words/always.” Guevara’s beautiful earth-toned paintings on amate (Mexican bark) combine colorful depictions of day-to-day life with traditional Aztec glyphs, which also tell the unique stories of the girl and boy who are the subjects of the text. It is only through the pictures that readers learn that the girl grows up to be a pediatrician, the boy, an artist. The arrangement of text, jewel-toned illustrations, precise borders, and glyphs is visually arresting and emotionally affecting. Notes by both author and illustrator give valuable insight into the creation of the book and the melding of the ancient with the modern. A timeless work of art that expresses the hopes and dreams of parents of both eagles and doves.-Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|