The title story of Diane de Anda’s delightful new collection is a tale of nature in conflict with modern surroundings. City children love the excitement of barnyard animals as much as they do any wild thing; through these creatures, youngsters can even sense what their parents’ and grandparents’ lives were like back in the campo. But a loudly crowing rooster makes for unhappy parents and neighbors. Must we give up the magic of wildness to live in the cities and suburbs? In the story “Tía Luisa,” De Anda seems to ask: Must we also give up the magic of our old ways of life, for all new ways?
Also featured in this collection are “Dancing Miranda,” the beautiful story of a graceful young dancer, and “Mari, Mari, Mariposa,” about a girl whose fascination with butterflies leads to unexpected problems. All of De Anda’s tales, in fact, are parables of pain and joy, disappointment and celebration.