La flor de oro: Un mito taíno de Puerto Rico
An enchanting Spanish-language picture book that recreates the indigenous legend of Puerto Rico’s origins.
by Nina Jaffe
Illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez
Published: March 31, 2006
Imprint: Piñata Books
Nina Jaffe’s acclaimed retelling of an indigenous creation myth about the birth of Puerto Rico, The Golden Flower, is available for the first time in Spanish. Her account of the Taíno’s legend draws the reader to the island before the Spaniards arrived. The Taínos called their beloved island, Boriquén. This is their story of how Boriquén came to be.
In the beginning, there is only a giant mountain above a dry plain without water or plants. A child walking over the flat land below the mountain finds seeds dancing in the wind. When he plants the seeds on the top of the mountain, a forest grows on the crest and in that forest, a large golden flower appears. Soon, the boy and his community reap benefits that they had never before imagined.
A joyful creation myth about the evolution of a beautiful island habitat, this picture book is also a celebration of the young boy’s quest, which encourages young readers, ages 4-8, to respect the gifts of the winds and the cycle of nature that bears fruit for the whole community. Jaffe’s adaptation was inspired by her encounter with a Spanish-language article by Carmen Puigdollers, “Cómo se formó la bella isla de Boriquén,” and folklore research in Puerto Rico.
Named a 1998 Pura Belpré Honor Book by the American Library Association
“Glowing colors, stylized figures, and overlays are the hallmarks of the eye-catching art, while the spare, clipped prose makes this a folktale beginning readers can tackle.”—Booklist
“The story is told in a simple, lyrical style that will quickly involve young listeners in the myth . . . A welcome addition to the folklore shelves.”—Kirkus Reviews
NINA JAFFE’S acclaimed retellings of world folklore include The Golden Flower: A Taíno Myth from Puerto Rico (Piñata Books, 1998), named an Honor Book in the 1998 Pura Belpré Awards; La flor de oro: Un mito taíno de Puerto Rico (Piñata Books, 2006); The Way Meat Loves Salt: A Cinderella Tale from the Jewish Tradition (Henry Holt and Co., 1998), a PJ Library selection; and Patakín: World Tales of Drums and Drummers (Cricket Books, 2001). Cited in Best Books for Children as “among the very best in the field” of authors who draw on oral traditions, her books have been honored with the Sydney Taylor Award and Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award and have been named a Smithsonian Notable Book. Recent publications include Tales for the Seventh Day: A Collection of Sabbath Stories (Scholastic, 2000) and Wonder Woman: I Am Wonder Woman (HarperFestival, 2004). Nina is on the graduate faculty of Bank Street College’s education department and lives in New York City.
Learn more at ninajaffe.com.
ENRIQUE O. SÁNCHEZ is a talented fine artist and an accomplished illustrator with several books to his credit, including Big Enough/Bastante grande by Ofelia Dumas Lachtman (Piñata Books, 1998). He also owns an extensive drum collection. A conga player as well as an artist, he shares his passion for art and music with his son, Aron, who is also a musician and an artist. Sánchez lives in Vermont, with his wife, Joan, a modern dancer.
ATOS Interest Level: Lower Grades
ATOS Spanish: 3.7
LEXILE Spanish: 650L
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 70338