Books by Francisco X. Mora

Released: May 1, 2008

Birdsong lulls the people on the isle of Luzon to sleep each night, because the birds practice their music in an abandoned house atop Mount Pinatubo and the evening breeze carries the sweet noise down. Haribon the eagle is too large to fit inside the house, so he lingers outside to enjoy the music. Until a lizard arrives. "I am Tuko the gecko, and I've come to sing," the lizard says. But Tuko's song is far from pleasant, and his very presence makes the birds unable to open their mouths. So Haribon sets to work. His first effort—offering Tuko a goodbye present—fails, but then the eagle comes up with a brilliant idea, comprised of sticky tree sap sculpted into the shape of beetles. If the plan succeeds, perhaps Tuko will go back where he belongs! Climo's text makes the most of Tuko's overbearing obnoxiousness, his braying TUKOs rendered in an upper-case shout that invites audience participation. Mora's softly colored realistic watercolors nicely complement this laugh-worthy story of innovation and trickery. (glossary, author's note) (Picture book/folklore. 5-10) Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1996

A tongue-in-cheek, witty text with pictures that illustrate more than amplify how one ``great Indian chief and his great Indian wife'' triumph over a tricky government relocation policy. The government man tells a skins-clad native couple to leave their lands and move into a wooden house that stands near the wooden barn; the only catch is that they must raise sheep, pigs, and cows, and they haven't the funds to buy these animals. Still, they're gamely cooperative, and soon the wife (now in a white apron) waves her husband (now in bib overalls) off on a canoe trip down the great river to find livestock. He acquires a moose, a beaver, and a bear, in a hilarious, three-animals-in-a-canoe sequence. A week later, the animals have collected enough friends to join them on the farm so that when the government man comes to check compliance (bringing a thick stack of papers and several other officials), he is soon dispersed, leaving a paper trail behind him. ``Bought the farm'' is, of course, a gallows-humor euphemism for death, but the death of a former way of life turns out happily indeed, in a perfect read-aloud book. (Picture book. 5+) Read full book review >
Released: April 18, 1994

A very simple text, with each line (``Listen to coyote call, ar-ar-aooo, ar-ar-aooo/El coyote canta, ah£££, ah£££, ah£££''; ``Listen to the wind spin, zoom, zoom, zoom...'') repeated twice in English plus twice in Spanish, becomes a rhythmic, lyrical bilingual chant suggesting the onomatopoeic powers of both tongues. Owl, dove, toad, snake, fish, mice, and rain complete a roster, supplemented by spreads whose pleasingly spare designs feature handsomely stylized figures beneath a mellow sky. A brightly decorative geometric motif runs through the pages to tie it all together. An attractive book for introducing the desert- -and a second language—to young children. (Picture book. 2-7) Read full book review >