Nekane, the Lamina & the Bear: A Tale of the Basque Pyrenees (Toucan Tales)

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9781877810015: Nekane, the Lamina & the Bear: A Tale of the Basque Pyrenees (Toucan Tales)
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Nekane sets off into the forest to bring her uncle some fish and olive oil, but during her journey she must outwit the fog, a bear, and the lamina--a spirit who loves olive oil

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About the Author:

Author Frank P. Araujo, PhD has lived in California since the author's great-great grandfather arrived from European Basque country during the early part of the last century. The city of Bakersfield, where Frank Araujo was born was a hub of activity for the many Basque people who had immigrated to California to work in the sheep industry. It was in this rich cultural environment that the author developed his passion for folklore. After his military service, Araujo studied linguistics and anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley and Davis. His doctoral research was conducted in California among the Basque sheepmen, after which he worked with the World Health Organization in South America. He has taught at several universities and has conducted extensive field work in Europe, Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia.

Artist Xiao Jun Li is an international children's illustrator and recognized calligrapher in China. He was born and reared in Chi! nese Inner Mongolia and was educated at the College of Fine Arts at Tianjin. His numerous awards include the Sixth Noma Concours Award for Children's Picture Book Illustrations from the Asian Cultural Center of the United Nations in Tokyo, and the silver medal at the Sixth National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Beijing.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An American anthropologist of Basque descent retells a story remembered from his childhood. Nekane's mother sends her through the woods from their fishing village to Uncle Kepa with a gift of fish and olive oil, warning her to beware of the shape-shifting lami¤a, a forest spirit who will steal the oil if it can. Armed by knowing that the lami¤a ``is limited by the form it takes...doesn't like dogs...[and] will never let you see its feet,'' the child sets out. When the spirit appears as fog, she runs until the wind dissipates it; she bargains with a bear (not the lami¤a) that wants to eat her (``My Uncle...will give you all the honey you can hold...''); then, when she finds the lami¤a, in the guise of a fox, impersonating her uncle in his house, she tricks both antagonists so that the fox is chased away by the bear. In compellingly expressionistic art, the Chinese-born illustrator creates free-flowing images in vibrant watercolor; the vulnerable-looking child's sturdy feet and a rainbow-splashed dress presage that she'll be more than a match for the monumental bear and ever-so-pointy fox. Araujo's narration of this satisfying Red Riding Hood variant is brisk and informal, with plenty of lively dialogue that will be fun to share aloud. A fine story hour choice. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Frank P. Araujo, Jun Li Xiao (Illustrator)
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