cover image El Sombrero del Tio Nacho = Uncle Nacho's Hat

El Sombrero del Tio Nacho = Uncle Nacho's Hat

Harriet Rohmer. Children's Book Press (CA), $15.95 (31pp) ISBN 978-0-89239-043-4

These two folktales, with text in Spanish and English, bring important glimpses of other cultures to American children. The Uncle Nacho story originated in Nicaragua; the other came to Nicaragua from Africa by way of Jamaica. In the first, Nacho is attached to his old hat, even though it is full of holes . When his niece Ambrosia gives him a new one, he's pleased but skeptical. He reluctantly puts the ragged hat in the trash, but thanks to well-meaning relatives and friends, the hat keeps returning to Nacho. Finally he realizes it's time to push himself to change his style, in a clever and involving lesson in acceptance of change. In the second story, Brother Anansi is ``the spider,'' a standard folk hero known for his devious nature. In this book, Anansi outsmarts a tiger who is twice his size. The tiger has won the lottery and Anansi is bound to end up a winner himself. Anansi ends up a cattle rancher in a charming victory of brainpower over brawn. Ages 4-12. (Sept.)