K-Gr 2-In this delightful retelling of a Mayan myth, readers can appreciate the elements of other universal folktales, such as the trickster and the tortoise and the hare. Mora retells the tale she heard from an Itzaj Mayan bricklayer working on an archeological excavation in Tikal. In this version of the age-old tale, the toad, Much, baits the deer, Keej, into a contest to see who is the fastest. Prideful and arrogant, Keej accepts the challenge, confident in his strength and speed. News of the race spreads throughout the jungle and all of its inhabitants eagerly await its start. Much turns to his many friends for assistance in order to trick the vainglorious deer. As expected by all savvy readers, the toad wins the race. Domi's magnificent watercolor illustrations explode on the page in bursts of vivid colors. Quetzals, toads, parrots, crocodiles, and jaguars cavort within a lush, Technicolor backdrop of tropical vegetation. This truly beautiful book is appropriate for all collections and bookstores, and is a brilliant selection for story time. Highly recommended. [See interview on p. 62. Ed.] M.O.B.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2001 Release date: 09/01/2001 Genre: Children's