Venturing past Disney princesses, here is Ibura, Brazilian Princess of the Springs.
Published as a beginning reader for children who have had some practice, this tale is adapted from one found in a Web-based collection with no further attribution. The vocabulary has been simplified, but the content has not been substantially changed. Ibura is the daughter of the Giantess of the Great River and the Moon Giant. She in turn marries the Sun Giant (amusingly pictured as a little shorter than his new spouse). Ibura insists on her freedom to spend three months each year with her mother. When her baby is born, the Sun Giant refuses to let the infant boy go with his mother; when Ibura’s return is delayed, he marries another wife and abandons the child, until Ibura can return to rescue him. The characters are mythical, but they also have human qualities. There is no information about the specific cultural origins of the story beyond the Amazon (Great River) connections. The stylized illustrations are executed in acrylics and graphite, and the full-bleed double-page spreads are quite attractive for an early reader, though the small type is occasionally hard to make out against the backgrounds.
This pourquoi tale that explains some of the aspects of the seasonal changes and the reason for rain makes a nice complement to Persephone’s story. (Early reader/folk tale. 6-8)