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Mateo and his father carve juguetes, small wooden animals his family sells at the fiestas in Oaxaca. But Mateo wants to carve much larger animals-goats as pink as bougainvillea with cactus-green speckles, and purple cats with corn-yellow spots. When he tells his father how he longs to bring these large animals to life, his father only scowls, but Mateo perseveres. Including an informative afterword on this vibrant Mexican art form, this colorful tale inspires readers of all ages to follow their passion.
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Diana Cohn is a former school teacher who lives in New York. This is her first book for children.From Publishers Weekly:
Inspired by the life of renowned Oaxacan woodcarver Manuel Jimenez, newcomer Cohn and Cordova (My Land Sings) tell of Mateo, a young woodcarver who bravely breaks with a generations-old artistic tradition. The subsistence farmers of the boy's village are known for their juguetes, tiny carvings of wooden animals so small they could fit in the palm of a hand, carved by men and boys, and painted in fiesta-bright colors by women and girls. But Mateo dreams of carving life-size animals, with surfaces that tingle with vibrant, improbable colors and surreal patterns. I see animals so big and bright that I will need to carve them with a machete! he tells his disapproving father. When Mateo ultimately produces a glorious wooden menagerie including a quetzal with majestic feathers he wins over not only Papa, but the entire village, and a new way of carving is born. Cohn captures the boy's pursuit with straightforward eloquence, whether describing a child's heady experience of a fiesta or articulating the imaginative forces that set apart and drive a true artist. Cordova chronicles Mateo's artistic development in radiant, double-spread tableaux, setting off the text with festive decorative borders. She borrows the highly stylized characterizations and flattened perspectives typical of Mexican folk art, but she animates the compositions with big, bold shapes and electric, saturated colors. A fitting tribute to the energy and power of an artist's distinctive vision. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Chronicle Books, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110811812448
Book Description Chronicle Books, 2002. Condition: New. Amy Cordova (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0811812448