In this book, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Maya activist Rigoberta Menchú Tum returns to the world of her childhood.
The Honey Jar brings us the ancient stories her grandparents told her when she was a little girl, and we can imagine her listening to them by the fire at night. These Maya tales include creation myths, a classic story about the magic twins (which can also be found in the Popol Vuh), explanations of how and why certain natural phenomena came to exist, and animal tales. The underworld, the sky, the sun and moon, plants, people, animals, gods and demi-gods are all present in these stories, and through them we come to know more about the elements that shaped the Mayas’ understanding of the world.
Rich and vibrant illustrations by noted Mazatec-Mexican artist Domi perfectly complement these magical Maya tales.
Key Text Features
Rigoberta Menchú Tum won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. She lives in Guatemala and devotes herself to fighting for the rights of Maya Guatemalans and other Indigenous people in the Americas as head of the Fundacion Rigoberta Menchu Tum. She has received numerous international awards and honorary degrees and has also written Crossing Borders: An Autobiography, and I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala. Her other books for young people, co-written with Dante Liano, include The Girl from Chimel and The Honey Jar, both companion books to The Secret Legacy.
Dante Liano is an eminent Guatemalan writer and National Literature Award laureate. He currently lives in Milan, where he teaches Latin American literature. He is the author of The Man from Montserrat and The San Andres Mystery, and co-author of The Girl from Chimel and The Honey Jar.
David Unger is an award-winning translator and author born in Guatemala. His work has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Chinese. He received Guatemala’s 2014 Miguel Angel Asturias National Prize in Literature for lifetime achievement, though he writes exclusively in English and lives in the US. His many translations include The Girl from Chimel, The Honey Jar and Popul Vuh: A Sacred Book of the Maya.
Domi is a well-known Mazateca artist, whose vivid illustrations appear in many children’s books, including The Story of Colors by Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos, The Night the Moon Fell (La noche que se cayó la luna) and The Race of Toad and Deer (La carrera del sapo y el venado), both by Pat Mora. She has also illustrated The Girl from Chimel and The Honey Jar, by Rigoberta Menchú and Dante Liano. She lives in Tlaquepaque, Mexico.
[A] delightful collection...The colours are vivid and brilliant, evoking a tropical atmosphere, and the simple images should appeal to all readers. - Resource Links
...an ideal compliment to a Maya/Aztec unit, and it is a desirable addition to any Latin American folklore collection... - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
...narrated in a fluid, lively prose that has a natural rhythm of its own, ideal for reading aloud...Domi's bright oil illustrations enhance the sense of plenty with their clear pinks, greens and blues, and their child-like images of first creatures. - Toronto Star
Each tale is succinct and clearly retold. [Domi] illustrates the tales in oils with a depth that communicates the ethnic nature and tone of the tales. - Library Media Connection
In this delightful collection, the author returns to her childhood and relates ancient Mayan myths exactly as her grandparents told them to her. The colours are vivid and brilliant, evoking a tropical atmosphere, and the simple images should appeal to all readers. - Resource Links
Menchu and Domi have created a true golden treasure that anyone with an interest in history, folklore, and culture will have to taste. - Multicultural Review
Menchu paints a rich world, filled with animals, nature and lessons that are never cloying or preachy as she introduces readers to a culture they might not be familiar with. - Calgary Herald
The stories...reflect a distinctive worldview, a broad awareness of nature, and a sense of humor. An impressive collection...that lends insight into the Mayan culture. - Booklist
Universal in appeal, this collection of 12 Mayan tales would be a significant addition to any libraries holdings. - School Library Journal
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