cover image Why There is No Arguing in Heaven: A Mayan Myth

Why There is No Arguing in Heaven: A Mayan Myth

Deborah Nourse Lattimore. HarperCollins Publishers, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023717-2

Hunab Ku, the Creator God of the Mayas, is weary of the squabbling between the Moon Goddess and Lizard House as to which of them should be the second-most important god. When Hunab Ku declares that whoever creates a being that will worship all the gods will win a place next to him, the Maize God watches the other two fight it out. They create men of mud, and then men of wood, but these do not make Hunab Ku happy. ``They speak like twigs. They move like planting sticks. They think like stones. And they do not worship us.'' Only the Maize God, who respects the spirit of men, understands the elements that must go into their creation. And through time, he takes his place next to Hunab Ku. The book is only similar to Lattimore's previous works ( The Flame of Peace ; The Prince & the Golden Ax ) in that it replicates the authentic details of the culture--the artist seems to reinvent her style with each new work, to great effect. The storytelling and pictures dazzle with details; the endpapers depict an elaborate procession of stone-like carvings of symbols. Humor abounds; how refreshing to see a creation myth in which mistakes are made before the gods get it right! Ages 6-9. (Mar.)