Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Doña Flor by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raúl Colón

Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About A Giant Woman With A Great Big Heart by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raúl Colón (Knopf, 2005)(look inside). In this heartwarming and humorous original tall tale, Doña Flor is a giant woman living in a tiny southwestern village. She shows great kindness to her neighbors, especially children, and loves to read. One day, an enormous roar echoes, frightening all those Doña Flor loves. Whatever will she do? Ages 4-up.

My Thoughts

Pat Mora has brought to life an original tall tale that feels as fresh as it does timeless. The story itself is an inspiration, and her language in telling it is vivid and enchanting. Likewise, the art is breathtaking.

What's more, I cannot reveal the surprise twist in this story, but I have to say that I love it!

In addition to its charm as a story, this book would be wonderful for those seeking varied images of strong girls and women, especially given Doña Flor's giant status. She's a large, big-hearted, and beloved woman who uses her strength to protect and nuture others.

Pat Mora and Raúl Colón also are the creators of another wonderful picture book, Tomás and the Library Lady (Knopf, 1997). It received the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, an IRA Teacher’s Choice Award, a Skipping Stones Award, and was also named a Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List title and an Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature commended title.

Pat is a native of El Paso, Texas, and now makes her home in Santa Fe.

Raúl lives in New York City.

Cynsational News & Links

Meet the Illustrator: Raúl Colón from Houghton Mifflin. Includes photo. See also Raúl Colón's art at Storyopolis Art Gallery.

Meet the Author: Pat Mora from Houghton Mifflin. Includes photo.

Another new giant book is Walter The Giant Storyteller's Giant Book of Giant Stories by Walter M. Mayes, illustrated by Kevin O'Malley (Walker, 2005). Read a recent cynsational interview with the author and illustrator!

Seasonal Notes

I've already highlighted some 2005 holiday picture books and featured author interviews with Kathleen Long Bostrom on Josie's Gift, illustrated by Frank Ordaz (Broadman & Holman, 2005) and with Marilyn Helmer on One Splendid Tree, illustrated by Dianne Eastman (Kids Can Press, 2005).

But I'd also like to mention Santa Baby by Janie Bynum (Little Brown, 2005) and one of best of the backlist Fancy That (scroll) by Esther Hershenhorn, illustrated by Megan Lloyd (Holiday House, 2003)(see teacher's guide).

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