Books by Antonio Ramírez

Released: May 1, 2010

As brilliant as backlit stained glass, Domi's big, naïve watercolors create a lush country setting for this child's account of her village's relocation. Because the new dam will flood their old San Pedro Ixcatlán, a vanguard of Mazatecan families travels ahead to clear and plant rice fields for a "Nuevo Ixcatlán." In buoyant tones, young Napí records the journey, sighting a jaguar, how burning off the underbrush for the new settlement left everything—including her little brother Niclé—ashy grey and finally a dream that combines these and other memories in the wake of a scary accident to her Namí (father). The Spanish and English texts are placed well apart on facing pages beneath the full-spread illustrations. As in Napí's previous two appearances (Napí Goes to the Mountain, 2006, etc.), the author and illustrator, who are human-rights activists, build in a subtle political subtext, but children will respond most readily to Napí's guileless optimism. A glossary translates Mazatec words into both Spanish and English. (Bilingual picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
NAPÍ by Antonio Ramírez
by Antonio Ramírez, illustrated by Domi
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

Outdoing even her work in Subcomandante Marcos's Story of Colors (2003) for symphonic plays of hue, Domi illustrates another fellow Zapatista's text with dazzling, stylized Oaxacan figures and scenes. In terse, wooden prose, a child introduces herself and her family—"We are Mazateca Indians. We are poor. . . . "—describes how the day's color changes make her feel, sees herons lighting in the trees at nightfall, and dreams of being a heron herself, flying "safe and happy" over her river and village. Defined in spots, bands, and splashes of bright acrylics in multiple layers that melt into each other, the houses, trees, and river seem to shimmer in tones of orange, purple, green, and deep blue on successive spreads, as Napí listens to her grandfather's tales. They sit beneath the huge pachota tree, where her "bellybutton" was buried so that "if ever I were to go far away, I would come back." Then she drifts into sleep. Children will come back to this less for the story or the glimpses of Mazatecan life than for the vivid visuals. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >