Blancaflor, the Hero with Secret Powers: A Folktale from Latin America

Nadja Spiegelman, illus. by Sergio García Sánchez. Toon, $16.95 (56p) ISBN 978-1-943145-56-0
The team behind Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure reunites for this graphic novel retelling of the Latinx folktale, whose eponymous heroine uses her formidable powers to secretly help a “very handsome but very stupid prince” win against her ogre father. On the surface, the fairy tale narrative contains familiar elements: the rule of three, an evil ogre, instant love (between the light brown–skinned protagonist and her light-skinned prince), a high-speed pursuit, a resultant curse, and a happily ever after. But an author’s note by Spiegelman excavates deeper meaning: “This story, in all its multicultural variants, has always been about the invisible labor of women.” Sánchez emphasizes the folkloric feel with fine-lined, hatched digital art conveyed in shifting full-color panels and spreads, infusing dynamism with fluid forms and gangling elastic limbs; Lola Moral’s light palette gives the comic a vintage wash. A female-focused lens infuses this classic tale with new energy. Front matter features an introduction by F. Isabel Campoy; back matter features an author’s note and bibliography. A Spanish-language edition is available simultaneously. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/30/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 56 pages - 978-1-943145-55-3
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