Judy Goldman retells animal folktales from five indigenous groups in Mexicothe Tarahumara, Seri, Huichol, Triqui, and Tseltal. Each story is followed by information about the featured culture, enriching readers' understanding of the diverse peoples who make up Mexico.
Fabricio VandenBroeck's lush art portrays the richness of the many peoples, animals, and places that make up Mexico.
Includes a map of Mexico, showing the location of each indigenous group. Back matter includes a glossary and tale sources, as well as an index and a bibliography.
Awards and Honors for Whiskers, Tails & Wings: Animal Folktales from Mexico:
• 2013 Aesop Accolades
• 2013 New York Public Library Children's Books 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
• 2014 Storytelling World Award (Honor Book, Storytelling Collections category)
• 2015 International Latino Book Award (Best Youth Latino Focused Chapter Book) 2nd Place
About the Author
Judy Goldman is the author of many children’s books, both in English and in Spanish, including DE ASTUTOS, TRAGONES Y MORDELONES, illustrated by Juan Gedovius (Editorial Norma, 2011); SAPO Y YUKU—UN CUENTO YAQUI, illustrated by Arno Avilés (Progreso Editorial, 2009); and UNCLE MONARCH AND THE DAY OF THE DEAD, illustrated by René King Moreno (Boyds Mills Press, 2008). She lives in Mexico City, Mexico. Visit Judy at judygoldman4kids.com.
Read an Excerpt
A Tarahumara Tale
When Señor Grillo Met Señor Puma
Señor Puma was in a bad mood. He stomped through the forest, looking neither left nor right, much less where he stepped.
Suddenly someone yelled, “¡Oye, tú! Watch where you’re going! You almost killed me!”
Señor Puma stopped in his tracks. He looked for the source of the voice. Down by Señor Puma’s paw was a very annoyed cricket who was shaking his antennae at him. Under normal circumstances Señor Puma would have laughed and gone on his way, but today he was ripe for picking a fight.
“Who cares?” Señor Puma said. “You are so small and weak that you are good for nothing!” With a quick movement of his paw, he flicked Señor Grillo into the weeds.
Señor Grillo was even angrier than before. He picked himself up and shouted, “It is a shame that you should treat me this way. ¡Eres un cobarde!”
With a roar, Señor Puma yelled, “You cannot call me a coward and get away with it! This is war! Prepare your army, and tomorrow we will meet in the meadow near the shore of the lake. I will get rid of you and your kind.”
Señor Puma stalked off to recruit his army. Through the forest he went, roaring and calling at the top of his lungs, “Come, hermanos, your king calls you to arms!”
The first volunteers were two bears he spotted among the trees. They were soon joined by two more pumas and five ferocious bobcats. Señor Puma also enlisted a family of foxes, some skunks, and three nasty snakes. Then he spent the rest of the day drilling his army until they were ready to fight.
Meanwhile, Señor Grillo sat quietly under a tree, thinking about how he could win the upcoming battle. After a while he left to arrange everything.
Early the next morning, when the sun was beginning to splash the sky with color, Señor Puma and his troops arrived at the battleground.
“Halt!” Señor Puma ordered, looking over the combat zone.
All was quiet.
The only odd thing he spotted were several yellow gourds dotting the field.
Señor Puma snorted and said, “Why, the little coward didn’t show up.”
Then he saw a movement.
Señor Grillo was there after all, standing at the other end of the field.
Señor Puma snickered and said, “That silly insect is by himself! Does he think he’s going to beat us by throwing gourds? Foolish creature, how can he possibly win? Ha! This is going to be the shortest war in history!”
The other animals laughed so hard that they fell to the ground, whooping, slithering, and shaking. After a few minutes, they stood up and, still laughing and wiping their eyes, took their positions.
With a snarl, Señor Puma gave the order to begin the battle. The animals howled and rushed at the lone cricket, ready to crush him into the ground.
But at that moment, a multitude of crickets jumped up from behind the gourds and whipped off their tops. Señor Grillo’s army poured from the hollow gourds—hundreds of angry wasps hovering above his head like a storm cloud.
When Señor Puma saw the buzzing swarm, he skidded to a stop. “Run for your lives!” he yelled.
All was confusion as the animals in front stopped in their tracks and the ones behind plowed into them. Legs, tails, and bodies jumbled together.
Howling at the tops of their lungs, they untangled themselves and turned tail, running as fast as they could, with Señor Puma sprinting at the head of his vanquished army.
Even though they raced as swiftly as possible, tripping over stones and roots and crashing into trees and each other, the wasps soon caught up with them. Señor Puma shouted, “Run to the lake. Only there will we be safe!”
As soon as they reached the water, the animals dove into the lake. There they stayed until the wasps decided that they had had enough. Only then did Señor Puma’s army crawl home to lick its wounds.
That night Señor Grillo and his army had a grand party to celebrate their victory. There was food and drink and song, and, as a special treat, Señor Grillo composed an epic poem narrating their triumph, and then he set it to music on the spot.
Since then crickets sing that song every night to remember Señor Grillo’s victory over Señor Puma.
And pumas are very careful not to upset them.