THE SECRET FOOTPRINTS by Julia Alvarez

THE SECRET FOOTPRINTS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Recalling childhood tales from the Dominican Republic, the author of the adult In the Name of Salomé (p. 492), etc., crafts an atmospheric encounter between a human boy and a beautiful member of the ciguapas, the sea people. Though the ciguapas have a secret defense against capture—their feet are on backwards, so their trail always leads away from their actual path—only one, Guapa, is not shy and fearful of humans. One time, creeping up to a house to investigate the clothing hanging on the line, she catches sight of a lad, who calls out to her before she flees. Another day, she trips while spying on him, but knowing the danger her people would face if their secret were discovered, she tricks the boy into letting her escape. Though they never again meet, Guapa leaves him a shell as a token, and ever after she finds tasty pastelitos in the clothing hung out to dry. Thick-limbed figures with flowing black hair and clear brown skin tones grace Negrin’s (Dora’s Box, 1998) lush, richly colored tropical scenes. Not a conventional romance, perhaps, but there’s a romantic quality to the story and illustrations both. (afterword) (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-679-89309-1
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2000




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