NIÑO’S MASK by Jeanette Winter


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9
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Winter (Beatrix, above, etc.) communicates her abiding interest in Mexican culture with this wonderfully atmospheric, all-dialogue tale of a child who leads a ritual chase in his village’s annual Fiesta of the Tigre (jaguar). His parents bid him wait until he’s older, but so great is little Niño’s determination to participate in the upcoming festival that he cuts, carves, and paints a wooden dog’s mask with minimal adult help. Evoking Mexican folk art, both with characteristic motifs and saturated colors, Winter follows her young artist as he discovers the animal “hidden” within his rough block. He dons the finished mask, chases the costumed “tigre” through fields and village streets, then trips it up at last, earning both general acclaim from fellow villagers, and a guarantee of good crops for the coming year. The hand-lettered text, placed in balloons, is sprinkled with Spanish (superfluously translated at the end), and Winter depicts more masks and costumes in a closing gallery. Children of any cultural background will enjoy this glimpse of Niño’s world, and understand the profound pleasure he takes in creating art. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8037-2807-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2002


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