Barbara Mathews Whitehead's illustrations for this well-made volume are the sort of rustic, peasanty woodcuts so often...

READ REVIEW

THE WONDERFUL CHIRRIONERA: And Other Tales From Mexican Folklore

Barbara Mathews Whitehead's illustrations for this well-made volume are the sort of rustic, peasanty woodcuts so often coupled with folk tales and so seldom successfully executed. Hers come close to the ideal -- done in black, white and the orange-red of Mexican earthenware, the designs are full of earthy vitality, whimsical surprises and -- where appropriate to the tale -- a touch of primitive horror. The most scary, showing a leering bandito serving up a human head on a garnished platter, captures the moment of truth in the familiar moral tale of the foolish boy who survives danger by remembering ""Three bits of advice."" The other three stories, all nimbly adapted from J. Frank Dobie's Puro Mexicana, are variations of a poor man's revenge on his callous rich neighbors; two, especially the clever trick in ""Charge it to my hat,"" have been repeated in many versions, but the marvelous ""chirrionera"" or whipping snake is a singular beast indeed. Though the stories, save one, are well-known, the telling is exemplary, the woodcuts satisfying on their own and as companions to the narrative, and the presentation -- carefully printed between cheerful, pumpkin colored end papers -- is a treat.

Pub Date: June 1, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Heidelberg Publishers, 3707 Kerbey Lane, Austin, Texas, 78731

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974