Talking with Mother Earth/Hablando con madre tierra: Poems/Poemas

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9780888996268: Talking with Mother Earth/Hablando con madre tierra: Poems/Poemas
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Tetl’s skin is brown, his eyes are black, and his hair is long. He’s different from the other children, whose taunts wound him deeply, leaving him confused and afraid. But Tetl’s grandmother knows the ancient teachings of their Aztec ancestors, and how they viewed the earth as alive with sacred meaning. With her help, he learns to listen to the mountains, wind, corn, and stones. Tetl's journey from self-doubt to proud acceptance of his Nahuatl heritage is told in a series of powerful poems, beautifully expressed in both English and Spanish. Vivid illustrations celebrate nature’s redemptive powers, offering a perfect complement to the poignant story.

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Grade 3 Up–This literary offering stands out for its beauty and depth of expression. Argueta, a Pipil Nahua Indian, reaches deep into his childhood in rural El Salvador for memories and for his connection to Mother Earth. The poems alternate between bitterness and joy. Nahuatl words are peppered throughout, almost defiantly: Tetl is my name./It means stone./But everybody knows me as Jorge./I like Tetl better./It is the Nahuatl name my grandmother gave me./Tetl/Tetl/Tetl/Tetl not Jorge. That is my name. Poems about fire, wind, and water speak to those life-giving forces as friends and protectors. Pérez's illustrations are colorful, detailed, and appealing, incorporating many indigenous icons, yet they fail to convey the strength of Argueta's words. The selections can be shared aloud with youngsters or enjoyed independently. A unique and lovely collection.
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