cover image The Two Mountains: An Aztec Legend

The Two Mountains: An Aztec Legend

Eric A. Kimmel. Shens Books, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1504-5

The team behind The Three Princes and The Spotted Pony offers a competent reworking of this tale explaining the formation of two mountains overlooking the Valley of Mexico. When Ixco auqui, son of the sun god, defies his father's order not to venture beyond the garden wall, he meets and falls in love with Coyolxauhqui, daughter of the moon goddess. The other gods agree to their marriage, yet the disapproving sun god will bless the union only if the couple vows never to leave the heavens; if they break the vow, they will lose their immortality. As in the Garden of Eden, the lovers' curiosity causes them to transgress, and they are banished from the heavens. Later, when Coyolxauhqui becomes gravely ill, her husband carries her to a mountaintop, promising never to leave her side. The gods then ""transformed the two young lovers into two mountains."" Fisher's acrylic paintings range from austere, boldly hued portraits of the warriorlike celestial residents to verdant landscapes of both heaven and earth. Youngsters are likely to find the connection between the story and the geological formations intriguing, and its parallels with Adam and Eve may make for some lively discussion. A pronunciation guide appears at tale's end. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)