Old Letivia and the Mountain of Sorrows

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9780670844197: Old Letivia and the Mountain of Sorrows
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To end the devastation of a small Puerto Rican town, Old Letivia and her friends use her magic to conquer the evil forces of the Mountain of Sorrows

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-3?Old Letivia, a healer, and her whistling turtle Cervantes rescue a mute, miniature baby in the rain forest as they are gathering wild herbs and plants for teas and potions. Simon, the baby, flourishes under their care, and by the time he is 10, he is the "size of an average coffee pot" and communicates through his own sign language. Viewed with suspicion by the rest of the community, the three form a loving family. However, when a fierce wind threatens to destroy the village, the mayor turns to Old Letivia and her powers, and the threesome is changed forever. Laced liberally with Spanish phrases and elements from folklore, the text deftly conveys the Puerto Rican setting and the fantastic events. Unlike a folktale, however, the author is sometimes compelled to explain and/or justify the acts of the characters (e.g., "I must prove to the townspeople that I can solve this problem, and become important"). These explanations and the unexpected juxtaposition of contemporary, mechanical images (e.g., roller coaster) within this natural (and supernatural) realm are disconcerting. Richly detailed, ornate, glistening paintings are finely executed and aptly reflect the tone of the story, but have little child appeal. The phosphorescent tones and exaggerated figures sometimes overwhelm the smaller illustrations. This unique and sophisticated book may find an audience among rain forest aficionados, but general appeal is limited.?Starr LaTronica, Four County Library System, Vestal, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

This challenging fantasy by Mohr (The Magic Shell, 1995, etc.) will appeal to more able readers. The long story concerns a curandera, or healer, her whistling turtle, Cervantes (who is a magician), and a tiny boy, Simon, found floating in the river. When the village is besieged by terrible wind, the villagers go to Letivia for help. Letivia, Simon, and Cervantes travel to the faraway Mountain of Sorrows, enduring many perils along the way until they confront the wind who, as it turns out, has gotten stuck in the mountain by mistake and would like nothing more than to be free. Letivia accomplishes this and is granted four wishes in return. The story's rambling structure has less to do with the typical folktale than with the quests found in fantasy books for older readers. Gutierrez's pictures, too, are somewhat reminiscent of the work of fantasy artists, with bizarre and ferocious creatures. While the tale is not suited to all tastes, it should please attentive readers. (Picture book. 3-8) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Mohr, Nicholasa
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ISBN 10: 0670844195 ISBN 13: 9780670844197
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Nicholasa Mohr
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