Pattan’s Pumpkin

When Pattan finds a yellow-flower vine wilting in his valley, he replants and cares for it, watching as a pumpkin appears and grows taller than the goats, taller than the elephants, as tall as the very mountains. When a terrible storm rages across the valley, Pattan wonders if perhaps his pumpkin can save the seeds and grains and saplings, the goats and birds and bison, and protect them all as the storm clouds burst and the waters rise.

Animal Talk

Animals that live in one country don’t always talk the same language as animals from somewhere else. Take a rooster, for instance. In English-speaking countries, he says cock-a-doodle-doo when he has a notion to announce himself or to greet the dawn. But in Spanish-speaking countries, he says ki-kiri-ki. Emerging readers will delight in identifying the animals depicted on each new page. And the bilingual text invites parent and child into an interactive and playful reading experience for acting out animal sounds in English and Spanish.Craftsman Rubi; Fuentes and Efrai;n Broa from the Mexican state of Oaxaca fill the pages of Animal Talk with vibrant, wildly imaginative figures of familiar animals.Animal Talk is the fifth book in Cynthia Weill’s charming First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art series. It is her passion to promote the work of artisans from around the world through early concept books.

Hope is a Girl Selling Fruit

On a train journey to a large city, a young woman notices a very poor girl. Who is she? Where is she going? What does her future hold? Hope Is a Girl Selling Fruit is a gentle, reflective account of a young woman’s thoughts and feelings as she comes into contact with the larger world. The rich imagery takes the story into another realm, inviting the reader to interpret it at many levels. Young Indian artist Amrita Das pushes the boundaries of her traditional art to radical new ends as she muses on women’s mobility, class, and choices.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 8, Issue 3

Count Me In!: A Parade of Mexican Folk Art Numbers in English and Spanish

Practice your numbers in English and Spanish when you count the beautiful dancers, playful musicians, and happy children of Oaxaca as the Guelaguetza parade goes by! Pronounced Gal-a-get-zah, the lively celebration—full of traditional dancing and music—takes place every July deep in the heart of southern Mexico. ONE band leader with a big white balloon! DOS hombres with firecrackers! THREE musicians! FOUR giants! All exquisitely handcrafted by the Mexican folk art masters Guillermina, Josefina, Irene, and Concepción Aguilar, in collaboration with author and scholar Cynthia Weill. Bienvenidos!Welcome to the parade!


Out of the Way! Out of the Way!

A young boy spots a baby tree growing in the middle of a dusty path in his village. He carefully places rocks around it as the local mango seller rushes past shouting, ?Out of the way! Out of the way!” As the tree grows bigger, people and animals traverse the path until it becomes a lane, flowing like a river around the tree and getting out of its way. Over time, the lane becomes a road, and a young man crossing the road with his children remembers the baby tree from long ago. By the time he is an old man, the tree has become a giant. The city traffic continues to rattle past, noisier and busier than ever, but sometimes the great tree works its magic, and people just stop, and listen. In this simple, lyrical story, a wide-spreading tree and a busy road grow simultaneously, even as time passes and the footsteps of people and animals give way to speeding cars, buses and trucks.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 5, Issue 1

Capturing Joy

Maud Lewis was born into a loving Nova Scotia family who accepted her physical limitations. When her parents died and she was forced to find her own way in the world, she married and set up a modest household in a small cabin. Despite the hardships she faced, she was able to find joy in her life, a joy that she expressed through her art. She painted canvases of animals, children, and her surroundings. Her art spilled over into everything from dust pans to the walls of her house. Maud Lewis died in 1970, but her wonderful, life-affirming art lives on and is treasured by people who understand and appreciate folk art all over the world.