How Music Came to the World: An Ancient Mexican Myth

Hal Ober, Author, Carol Ober, Author, Carol Ober, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $17 (32p) ISBN 978-0-395-67523-6
Carol Ober's stunning cutout oil pastels just might overcome the tedium of this wordy retelling of a Mexican legend. Ancient Mexican images become remarkably kid-accessible with her vibrant, fluidly patterned compositions; her assemblages of cutouts create an energetic and appealing 3-D, puppet-show effect. With its might-makes-right themes, however, the story lacks color and context. Tezcatlipoca, the sky god, and Quetzalcoatl, the wind god, decide to steal the music from the Sun and bring it to their silent world. Quetzalcoatl climbs a magical rope bridge up to the House of the Sun where he asks the Sun's singers and musicians to come with him. Rebuffed, he explodes with anger, frightening them into compliance. The language is pedestrian: ``from dawn to dusk the melodies spread until music covered the earth.'' Even so, the magnificent art may suffice for some readers. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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