Books by Domi

TAMALITOS by Jorge Argueta
Released: April 9, 2013

"Even for novice chefs (and readers) the 'Ummmm's are easily attainable. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The latest of Argueta's free-verse recipes is a savory tribute to corn—as ancient a foodstuff as it is delicious. Read full book review >
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 >
THE HONEY JAR by Rigoberta Menchú
by Rigoberta Menchú, Dante Liano, illustrated by Domi, translated by David Unger
Released: March 1, 2006

Grandmother Moon, Grandfather Sun, Mother Earth and Father Sun all have a part to play in this collection of a dozen Mayan myths that reveal the nature of events, animals and even humans that inhabit the earth. For example, "The Amazing Twins" tale explains why toads now eat insects, snakes eat toads and how eagles came to eat snakes. The value of work is explained in "The Man Who Became a Buzzard." Each tale focuses on another phenomenon of Mother Earth or Father Sun. Domi's richly lush paintings, full of brilliant color, stylistically portray the essence of each tale, adding imagery and visual interpretation. This collection by a Nobel Peace Prize winner is a first-purchase addition to any library that includes African legends and myths, Native-American how and why stories and the literary tales of Rudyard Kipling. (Folktales. 8-10)Read full book review >
THE GIRL FROM CHIMEL by Rigoberta Menchú
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

The Nobel Peace Prize-winner offers a set of disconnected episodes from an idyllic Guatemalan childhood, occasionally animated by poetic flights of language—"My grandfather walked and walked. What was he looking for? No one knows. He would swallow trails and leave behind the remains of goldfinch songs"—briefly retold folktales and references to Mayan beliefs that are more allusive than descriptive. Domi, best known as the illustrator of Subcommandante Marcos' Story of Colors (1999), adds full-page, folk-art style scenes in glowing colors, featuring totemic animals and stylized figures with strangely crude features; the effect is as atmospheric as the text. Younger readers may find the tales, and some of the anecdotes, of interest, but adults will respond most strongly to these misty reminiscences—and to the poignant undertone added by Menchú's hints of ensuing troubled times. (Autobiography. 8-10)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 >
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

The familiar story of the race between the hare and the tortoise appears here in a Guatemalan version that the author heard from a guide at the Mayan ruins of Tikal. In this case, the race is between Venado, an arrogant and boastful deer, and Sapo, a clever toad with lots of friends, who, predictably, slowly and steadily wins the race. Domi's (The Night the Moon Fell, not reviewed, etc.) watercolors are luminous and childlike, immersing the pages in gorgeous blends of colors. As always, Mora is a master at mingling Spanish words with the English in ways that make their meanings perfectly clear. What is not so clear is exactly how Sapo manages to outrun Venado, even with the help of his friends' calls that confuse the proud deer. Nevertheless, this is a lovely title that, with its emphasis on the importance of cleverness, friendship, and cooperation, will be interesting to compare with other versions of the tale. (Picture book/folktale. 3-7)Read full book review >