On Acuri's thirteenth birthday, his father, the thunder god Paricaca, said, 'My son, disguise yourself as a beggar and go down to earth. It is time you learned more than you know.' "" From this abrupt beginning Acuri soon lands at the home of a selfish, ailing rich man whom he cures by ridding him of a malevolent two-headed toad. Next he exposes the rich man's wife as a thief, but saves her nevertheless from two avenging serpents--presented here, in the book's most dramatic pictures, as huge and writhing folk-art constructions. Then, aided by his father's magic, Acuri defeats the rich couple's jealous son in a series of contests. In the end Paricaca turns the three rich offenders into deer, and Acuri distributes their many-colored llamas, the source of their wealth, among the villagers. As with many such elementary folktales, the toneless telling is carried by the story's own bold images and unflagging string of incidents. The pictures have the same combination of flat naivetÃ‰ and bright simplicity; unfortunately, they tend to thin out as the story progresses. The story's elements don't add up to more than separate, less than riveting episodes, but they keep it moving to the end, which has its moral value.