VEJIGANTE MASQUERADER by Lulu Delacre

VEJIGANTE MASQUERADER

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 The monthlong Carnival celebrations in Ponce, a coastal town in southern Puerto Rico, as experienced by a boy who lives in a very modest barrio. Secretly, Ram¢n has made a costume and ordered a colorful, grotesquely horned papier-mÉchÇ mask so that he can join the other boys and men who travel the streets, playing tricks on bystanders. These masqueraders are named for the balloon-like vejigas they carry--brightly painted, inflated cows' bladders, sometimes filled with pebbles or beans to create noisemakers. Ram¢n's story is affectingly told in both English (black) and Spanish (blue), with bright, mixed-media pictures; what's lacking is any explanation of Carnival or the origin and significance of the devil-like masqueraders, or why--only in Ponce--the vejigantes frolic for an entire month. Several pages at the end contain information about other masqueraders in Spain and Latin America, directions for making a vejigante mask, and some of the vejigantes' chants; an added fillip is the inclusion of 28 well-hidden lizards (one for each February day) in the pictures. Admirable in bringing an unfamiliar custom to life, but without enough background to fully understand it. Short glossary; bibliography. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-590-45776-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993




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