THE TREE THAT RAINS by Emery Bernhard


The Flood Myth of the Huichol Indians of Mexico
adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 10
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 Watakame loves to work. Faithful dog at his side, he plants, tends his fields, and prays for rain; he doesn't even complain when a new fig tree grows each night where he has just cut one down. Finally, he stays awake to see who is undoing his work and discovers ``Nakawe, Great-Grandmother Earth, she who makes things grow,'' who warns him of an impending flood. Noah-like, Watakame builds a boat of the latest tree, packs up a supply of seeds and his dog, and--with Nakawe--weathers a four-year flood. Thereafter, the dog becomes a woman and Watakame's wife while a great new fig tree ``gush[es] water from its shining leaves''; the water rises up to rain down on his crops. In Durga Bernhard's art, flat areas of desert tangerine and pink and the deeper greens and purples of night are outlined in less saturated hues to created decoratively stylized illustrations--a handsomely evocative setting for a particularly interesting myth that, a note explains, is still used in Huichol Indian ritual. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: March 15th, 1994
ISBN: 0-8234-1108-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1994


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