YAGUA DAYS by Cruz Martel


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Lower East Sider Adan, on his first visit to Uncle Ulise in Puerto Rico, learns at last why all his relatives, and even Jorge the mailman back in New York, call rainy days ""yagua days."" Yaguas, it turns out, are large ""canoelike"" plam leaves on which, during their wet vacation week, Adan, his parents, and the local boys and girls shoot down a runway of ""butter-slick"" grass into the river. From the start, when the mailman does double-duty by introducing the term ""yagua"" and delivering Uncle Ulise's invitation, it's deafly one of those thin, mechanical stories cooked up in the interests of ethnic affirmation; but with the Spanish words, island foods, and soft pencil sketches, it makes for a painless lesson.

Pub Date: April 29th, 1976
Publisher: Dial