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NAPÍ by Antonio Ramírez


by Antonio Ramírez & illustrated by Domi

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-88899-610-1
Publisher: Groundwood

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)