Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys
An appealing collection of spooky folktales for young adults.
by Xavier Garza
Publication Date: May 31, 2004
Format: Trade Paperback
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ages: 11 and up
Have you ever been too scared to sleep with the lights off? Were you frightened by a scratching sound inside of your walls or the beady red eyes and knotted green fingers of a duende? In his first collection of scary stories, Xavier Garza asks us these questions.
The stories in this collection curdle with the creepy and crawling characters of traditional folklore. These stories brim with the supernatural: the mysterious disappearance of children who made deals with duendes, evil trolls who live inside the walls of our houses; the ghostly specter of La Llorona who floats along the creek bed, howling, “¡Ay, mis hijos!”; witches that turn into great white owls; a severed hand that hurtles across floors and catches a death grip; and even the Devil himself harvesting wayward souls.
These are all cucuys, supernatural beings who have come to haunt the imagination in these tales of wonder and warning. These delicious and frightful stories come down through generations of grandmas teaching children to respect the laws of nature and the All Powerful.
These particular spooky cucuys are recounted and illustrated by master storyteller Xavier Garza, just the way he heard them at the knees of other masters when he was growing up in South Texas. Garza has preserved just the right gory detail and startling surprise to frighten the socks off you. And he always insists that you learn your lesson and take heed, or else …
“Adults should seize this opportunity for families to come together in the spirit of good old fashioned story telling.”—El Paso Times
Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, XAVIER GARZA is a prolific author, artist and storyteller whose work focuses primarily on his experiences growing up in the small border town of Rio Grande City. Graduating from UT Pan American in 1994 with a BFA in Art, Xavier Garza has exhibited his art and performed his stories in venues through out Texas, Phoenix, Arizona and Spokane, Washington. He is currently at work in a sequel to Cucuys and is also producing new bodies of work, “Adventures in Mexican Wrestling,” a collection of stories that focuses on Mexico’s lucha libre and its masked heroes and villains, and a children’s book titled “El Chupacabras, Alias El Big Bird.” Xavier Garza and his wife live in San Antonio.
ATOS Interest Level: Lower/Middle Grades
Category: Intermediate Reader