The Black Shadow

From the south of Brazil passing through Uruguay to the south of Argentina, spreads “the Pampas,” one of the best natural grazing lands of the world. The term “pampa” comes from the Quechua language and means “plain,” an open countryside without vegetation. In this region lives the gaucho, a unique character with typical custom, clothing and language.

Gullible Gus

Cowboy Gus is cured of a bad case of gullibility by listening to three tall tales.Poor Cowboy Gus! He believes everything the other cowboys tell him, so he gets teased all the time. To cure his terrible case of gullibility, Gus visits Fibrock, a town full of liars. There he encounters Hokum Malarkey, who tells him three outrageous stories—while relieving him of all his money. But Gus doesn’t mind. If he can honestly say the words “I don’t believe it,” he’ll be cured forever. With extravagant humor and lively language, Maxine Schur presents three tall tales within a frame story, each one just right for the chapter-book audience. Andrew Glass’s hilarious illustrations perfectly depict the hapless hero and the other larger-than-life characters that populate these wild and woolly adventures.

My Mama’s Little Ranch on the Pampas

This story about ranch life on the Argentinean pampas is told in the voice of young Maria Cristina, who describes the activities as the seasons change. Mama buys the ranch during a hot and steamy January. The children go back to school in March, and during the cold and rainy July winter vacations, most of the calves are born. Finally, on a very hot Christmas Eve, a special gift arrives. The story, based on the author’s childhood, challenges stereotypes of this culture by depicting a woman as the buyer and owner of the ranch.