Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Trickster Tales from Latin America

This post is part of a series of posts celebrating the countries and cultures of Latin America. The first post featured creation stories from Latin America. This post will focus on clever folk heros and trickster tales. The final post features tall tales.

Señor Cat's Romance and Other Favorite Stories from Latin America (1997) retold by Lucia M. González and illustrated by Lulu Delacre. This collection features six short tales collected from across Latin America. Several feature folk heroes featured in other books in this post, including Juan Bobo, a trickster rabbit, and Martina the Beautiful Cockroach. (Read this post for reviews of other books featuring the Puerto Rican folk hero Juan Bobo.)

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: a Cuban folktale (2007) retold by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Michael Austin. (A Pura Belpré Honor Book.) In this version of the story, Martina must decide who to marry and agrees to follow the unusual advice of her Abuela - to see how each suitor reacts when coffee is spilled on him! This humorous tale provides great advice for looking beyond appearances and determining someone's inner character.

Just a Minute: a trickster tale and counting book (2003) by Yuyi Morales (a Pura Belpré Award winner). In this inventive trickster tale, Grandma Beetle is surprised to find the skeleton Señor Calavera beckoning her to follow. Imposing on his politeness, Grandma Beetle continues with an escalating list of tasks (with numbers in both English and Spanish). Kids will delight in this outrageous outsmarting of Death.

Juan Bobo is a popular trickster from Puerto Rico and one I have shared about many times before. There are many picture books written about him, and you can read more about all of them at this post: Meet Juan Bobo!


Love and Roast Chicken: a trickster tale from the Andes Mountains retold by Barbara Knutson (also available in Spanish as Amor Y Pollo Asado). Poor cuy (guinea pig) is such a small, defenseless creature, that he must rely on his wits when he is threatened by Tio Antonio, the fox. His clever solutions to difficult situations will keep kids laughing and impressed by his creativity.

Borreguita and the Coyote by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Petra Mathers. Based on a Mexican folktale poor Borreguita must find a way to outwit the wily coyote!

Jabuti the Tortoise: a trickster tale from the Amazon by Gerald McDermott. This Jabuti tale references several others tricked by Jabuti, but in this story, Jabuti himself is tricked by Vulture who is jealous of his song and colors. This pourquoi tale explains why the tortoise's shell looks cracked and why Vulture is black when other birds are colorful. This Jabuti tale comes from the Tupi-Guarani tribe of the rain forests of Brazil.

Papago: the Mischief Maker by Gerald McDermott. Papagayo is a bit of a bully and annoyance to the other creatures of the Amazon rain forest, especially to those who preferred to sleep during the day. But when the fearsome moon-dog starts eating away at the moon, it is Papagayo who convinces the nocturnal animals to scare him away. (No specific cultural attribution.)

Share your favorite trickster tales in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...