Books by Joe Hayes

WATCH OUT FOR CLEVER WOMEN / CUIDADO CON LAS MUJERES ASTUTAS by Joe Hayes
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 15, 2019

"A fine collection. (Folktales. 8-12)"
Doubled in size from its original 1994 edition, this dual-language collection of classic folktales from the Southwestern United States will entertain and aid those studying Spanish. Read full book review >
GRANDPA'S HA-LA-LOO-YA HAMBONE by Joe Hayes
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"Tongue-in-cheek fun. (Picture book. 7-10)"
A tall country tale involving dentures, beans, and an amazing hambone. Read full book review >
MY PET RATTLESNAKE by Joe Hayes
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 24, 2014

"A shaggy snake story certain to elicit hoots and hollers aplenty from young audiences. (Picture book. 6-8)"
The creators of The Gum Chewing Rattler (2006) concoct another outlandish episode with a twist in its tale. Read full book review >
DON'T SAY A WORD, MAMÁ / NO DIGAS NADA, MAMÁ by Joe Hayes
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 10, 2013

"This book overflows with affection—and you can never have too much of that. (Bilingual picture book. 4-7)"
Mamá has always been proud of her loving daughters, even when they've grown. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 1, 2011

"Though previously published (in English only) by a small press as Everyone Knows Gato Pinto (1992) and also available in audio versions, these wise and witty tales continue to repay fresh encounters. (source notes) (Folktales. 10-12)"
Eight tales of tricksters and magical transformations are given a Southwestern setting by a veteran storyteller and paired to Spanish versions on facing pages. Read full book review >
THE LOVESICK SKUNK by Joe Hayes
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 2010

The duo that created The Gum-Chewing Rattler (2006) concocts a Garrison Keillor-type anecdote sized to fit a picture book. The key character is not a skunk, as the title suggests, but a pair of very smelly sneakers. The bespectacled boy narrator refuses to stop wearing them, even after a mishap with cow pies, until the night he and his pal camp out. When a noise in the night awakens them, they find a skunk ardently nuzzling a sneaker. They watch as a large skunk appears, jealously sprays the sneaker and leaves with "my shoes' new girlfriend" tagging behind him. The innate humor is realistically illustrated with detailed full bleeds but is washed out by the voice of the first-person narrator, which attempts a childlike ingenuousness but achieves instead an unfortunately patronizing tone in print: "I stepped in the cow pie. That's not a pie cows like to eat. It's something that comes out the other end of the cow!" Without the storyteller's oral inflections, too many laugh lines fall flat. What kind of books do skunks read? Best "smellers"—but unfortunately this isn't one. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

Known for Mexican and Mexican-American stories, Hayes reaches beyond his usual borders and finds a strong new source of tales in Cuba. Thirteen stories are told on opposite pages in English and Spanish, ready to read aloud or to be tucked into storytellers' repertoires. They are lively, often funny and sometimes a bit scary. Many different types appear: "Young Heron's New Clothes" is related to the Anansi stories, "The Fig Tree" has elements of the Grimms' "The Juniper Tree" and "The Gift," a patakí, is a myth about the Orishas, the holy figures of the Afro-Cuban religion of Santería. The excellent notes at the end include references to the stories as they are found in different cultures, although, unfortunately, complete citations for the works mentioned in the notes have been omitted, and there is no bibliography. Sayago, a Cuban artist now living in the United States, provides bold paintings that appear to be done on textured paper and portray most of the human characters as Afro-Cubans. Eminently tellable, all the stories have refrains and songs sure to get audiences joining in. (Folklore. 7-12)Read full book review >
THE GUM CHEWING RATTLER by Joe Hayes
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 1, 2006

An anecdote from the youth of a veteran Arizona storyteller makes its first separate appearance in print, matched to a Mexican artist's warmly humorous, photographically exact scenes. Hayes himself appears at beginning and end, recalling to a small group of listeners how, as a lad, he changed his mother's irritated tune about keeping bubblegum in his shirt pockets. It seems that one day he stepped on a rattler's tail, and when the snake whipped up to bite him, its fangs sank instead into a cache of gum. So big is the resulting bubble, that when it pops, the snake goes flying back and hits his head on a rock, knocking him out. Castro exaggerates the expressions on his human characters and gives the rattler a fiercely intense air of menace for this brief and thoroughly believable (right?) tale. (illustrator's note) (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2004

The most beautiful young woman of her small town, María disdains the local youths as beneath her and uses her wiles to attract the handsome son of a wealthy landlord. After a while, however, the headstrong husband loses his interest in María and speaks of putting her aside for a wealthy replacement. In rage and madness, María throws their children into the river and becomes "the weeping woman," who guiltily haunts the waterways and may even snatch away careless children who stay too long outside at night. Hayes's version is perhaps the classic American version of the classic Latin American folk tale and has been available in its earlier form for 20 years. This new edition features much larger, full-color illustrations destined to make the story even more popular, as well as the direct narration in both Spanish and English. This belongs in every folktale collection, and libraries serving Hispanic children, especially those of Mexican descent, can easily justify purchasing multiple copies. (Folktale. 7-12)Read full book review >
JUAN VERDADES by Joe Hayes
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

As Hayes (El Cucuy!, not reviewed, etc.) explains in his author's note, he has revised a variant of Aarne-Thompson's tale type 889, "The Faithful Servant," drawing on versions collected in Spain and New Mexico. Hayes makes the young woman a stronger character and adds other twists to this delightful tale, eloquently told, of two men who bet their ranches that the servant of one of them can be made to tell a lie. The reader is kept in suspense as to how the several strands of the narrative will come together: the magnificent prized apple tree, the love story of the beautiful Araceli and the servant Juan Valdez (nicknamed Verdades because he is so truthful), and the wager between the two wealthy ranchers. The final riddle, a Hayes invention, will appeal to young readers. This calls for careful listening; though the text is long, the telling is captivating. Fiedler's (My Lady King Hatshepsut, 2001, etc.) rather somber paintings—one per double page, facing the text—in combination with Hayes's sprinkling of Spanish phrases, provide an authentic historical northern New Mexico setting that gives the story a strong sense of time and place, making this an interesting and unusual addition to folklore collections. (Picture book/folktale. 7-12)Read full book review >
A SPOON FOR EVERY BITE by Joe Hayes
adapted by Joe Hayes, illustrated by Rebecca Leer
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1996

The landscapes and lore of the desert are captured in this traditional Hispanic fable about a boastful rich man who is outsmarted by his poor neighbors. The poor couple, whose shack looks out on the mansion of the wealthy man and who own but two spoons, ask him to be the compadre, or godfather, to their child. He agrees; they save every penny to buy a third spoon so they can invite him to dinner. The compadre comes to their home and laughs at their poverty, boasting that he could use a different spoon every day of the year. They mention a man they know who uses a different spoon for every bite. Intent on proving his superior wealth, the compadre bankrupts himself trying to outdo this legendary man, whose ``spoons'' are the tortillas with which he eats his beans. Hayes includes an author's note about his sources, while Leer successfully combines the colors of the southwest with the caricatured figures who piquantly inhabit the tale. An entertaining marriage of pictures and words. (Picture book/folklore. 3-7) Read full book review >