My Land Sings: Stories from the Rio Grande
DISC, 2017: 246.
A collection of ten original and traditional stories set in New Mexico, including "Lupe and la Llorona," "The Shepherd Who Knew the Language of Animals," and "Coyote and Raven." --UNM Library
This collection of stories has elements of both Mexican and Native American folklore. Anaya has included five of his own stories and retold and enhanced five traditional tales. Filled with ghosts, devils, and tricksters, these cuentos are suffused with the beliefs of the peoples in the Rio Grande region. Because of the predominating Roman Catholicism of those who settled the area, the pieces have strong elements of that religion in them as well. The tales are divided into categories such as rogues and rascals, enchantment, animals, and riddles; some are humorous, while others teach a lesson. The latter is represented by the author's story "Sipa's Choice," in which a young leader and his people are metamorphosed into golden carp because the young man failed to respect the traditional ways of his father. Anaya champions the reading of a good book or listening to a folktale as an opportunity to insert one's own experiences into the story and, hence, to nurture the imagination. This appealing volume will add diversity to folklore collections. --Sylvia V. Meisner, Allen Middle School, Greensboro, NC (School Library Journal)