ZIPITIO by Jorge Argueta


Age Range: 7 - 9
Email this review


Argueta offers a bit of folklore from Central America that isn’t going to go over too well in this culture. A small, ugly gnome with long nails and backward feet, Zipitio lurks along the riverbank, systematically falling in love with every local girl when she comes of age, pursuing her with flowers and declarations of devotion. Oddly dismissing him as just a harmless nuisance, young Rufina’s mother explains that a trick is required to divert his attentions—and so, when at last it’s Rufina’s turn, she overcomes her fear and sends him off with a basket to catch an ocean wave. Calderón creates a magical landscape in which faces peer from trees and stones; the awkward-looking Zipitio fits right in, but so does Rufina and her mother, with their smooth dark skin and colorfully embroidered clothing. Readers sensitive to the sexual nuances here may prefer Julia Alvarez’s The Secret Footprints (2000), which features backwards-footed creatures in a more innocently amusing situation. (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-88899-487-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2003


ChildrenAGUA, AGÜITA / WATER, LITTLE WATER by Jorge Argueta
by Jorge Argueta
ChildrenSALSA by Jorge Argueta
by Jorge Argueta
ChildrenARROZ CON LECHE / RICE PUDDING by Jorge Argueta
by Jorge Argueta


ChildrenTHE GREAT CANOE by María Elena Maggi
by María Elena Maggi
ChildrenBUZZ, BUZZ, BUZZ by Verónica Uribe
by Verónica Uribe