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THE HUMMINGBIRD'S GIFT by Stefan Czernecki


by Stefan Czernecki & Timothy Rhodes & illustrated by Stefan Czernecki

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: April 28th, 1994
ISBN: 1-56282-604-2
Publisher: Hyperion

 Inspired by the Tarascan Indian custom of weaving delicate straw figures for holidays, this tale explains how the people of Tzintzuntzan, Mexico, learned to make them. A drought has reduced Isidro and Consuelo's crop of wheat to spindly straw. Concerned for the hummingbirds that flock in their village, they make tiny, brightly decorated pots resembling flowers and fill them with sugar-water for the birds; only then do they worry about their own children. The grateful birds show them how to weave lovely figures of straw, which they sell at the Day of the Dead festival, earning money for food. The economic logic here is flawed (only one family seems to be affected by the drought), but the story makes a showcase for handsome stylized art featuring intense colors and traditional motifs; best are the photos of straw weavings by Juliana Reyes de Silva and Juan Hilario Silva, which also enact the story. Note. (Picture book. 4-9)