Mayanito’s New Friends / Los nuevos amigos de Mayanito
A young Mayan prince goes on an exciting journey through the rainforest in this bilingual picture book.
By Tato Laviera
Illustrations by Gabhor Utomo
Spanish translation by Gabriela Baeza Ventura
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
From his perch high up on a mountaintop, a young Mayan prince watched as raindrops formed in the clouds below him. Suddenly, within each drop, there was a child! The raindrop children landed gently on the ground and Mayanito raced down the mountainside to play with them. They were from Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica and other countries in the Americas, but as the sun warmed the land, they evaporated and turned into flowers!
Mayanito was sad to lose his friends, so he decided to go find them. Thankfully, the animals of the jungle—including Pablito the snake, Teresa the crocodile and Rafael the jaguar—helped him. In this adventurous romp through the rainforest, monkeys pulled him from quicksand and carried him over a waterfall in a hammock made of vines! Riding on a flamingo’s back, he landed in the village far below his mountaintop home and finally found his new friends. Together, they rode an inchworm train back up the mountain. And when Mayanito was named king, he declared all the children of the hemisphere members of his tribe!
Gabhor Utomo’s gorgeous illustrations of the lush rainforest, its flora and fauna complement the boy’s fantastical journey in this bilingual picture book for children ages 5-10. Parents and teachers will find this beautiful book provides a good introduction to basic concepts of jungle creatures, geography and even musical instruments from different regions.