This thoughtful, southwestern retelling of a traditional Asian tale follows a poor stonecutter named Agipito who is never satisfied with the realization of his wishes. In search of power and a better life, he goes through a series of physical transformations. At night, every time he longs to be more than he is, the spirit of the desert grants his wishes allowing him to become un comerciante rico (a rich merchant), el sol ( the sun), el viento (the wind), la gran montaña (the great mountain) and finally a free coyote. The text uses a code switching technique by mixing Spanish words throughout the story and highlighting them in red. Bilingual readers will find the technique very attractive and creative, while English readers will need contextual clues to discover the meaning of some words. A useful glossary with all the Spanish words translated into English is provided at the end. Kress’ illustrations bring texture, humor and great personifications to each character. Through these powerful images, readers can experience the heat of the desert, the smell of rotten bananas, the movement of the wind, and the spirit of the coyote. Recommended.
Moon over the Mountain/Luna sobre la montana. Keith Polette. Illus. by Michael Kress-Russik. McHenry, IL: Raven Tree Press, 2009. 32 pp. $16.95 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-1-932748-85-7. Grades 1-3. Bilingual.