The Woodcutter’s Gift / El regalo del leñador


An appealing bilingual picture book that celebrates community and folk art.

by Lupe Ruiz-Flores
Illustrations by Elaine Jerome
Spanish translation by Gabriela Baeza Ventura

ISBN: 978-1-55885-489-5
Publication Date: October 31, 2007  
Format: Hardcover
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ages: 3-7

Look Inside


One day, a terrible thunderstorm knocked down the giant mesquite tree that grew in the town square. After the storm, the townspeople gathered to gawk at the large obstruction blocking the street. They weren’t sure what to do with it, but they all agreed that the wood was good for nothing except a fire.

But the woodcutter Tomás sees something in the huge tree that the rest of the townsfolk don’t. “The beauty of this tree is not on the outside but on the inside,” Tomás tells them. In the following days, everyone watches curiously as the woodcutter carves and chips and whittles the wood into blocks. At one point, he moves the chunks into his shed, increasing everyone’s curiosity. What could the woodcutter be doing with all that lumber?

Finally, Tomás calls the townsfolk together to see his creations: a wonderful collection of life-sized animals for the children to enjoy. Children and adults alike are thrilled with their private zoo! But a few weeks later the woodcutter is visited by strangers from a folk art museum who want to buy the pieces for their collection. Will Tomás sell the town’s new zoo animals so that others can enjoy them too?