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
Publication Date: October 31, 2007
Imprint: Piñata Books
- About The Book
- About the Author
- About the Illustrator
- About the Translator
- Educational Resources
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?
Finalist, 2008-2009 Tejas Star Reading List
“An uncomplicated and heartwarming story that could be set in any Latin American small town, and the colorful, full-page illustrations depict daily life in a small community.”—Críticas
“[A] captivating book on the meaning of sharing and inner beauty…”—Today’s Catholic
“[A] new picture book that presents a different way that beauty comes into a child’s life, from the hands of an artist…it takes just a little imagination to turn a ‘dead tree’ into something beautiful.”—MultiCultural Review
LUPE RUIZ-FLORES resides in San Antonio, Texas, where she writes poetry and children’s stories. She is the author of Lupita’s Papalote / El papalote de Lupita (Piñata Books, 2002) and The Woodcutter’s Gift / El regalo del leñador (Piñata Books, 2007).
ELAINE JEROME studied at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and currently resides in Northern California. The Woodcutter’s Gift / El regalo del leñador is her first book.
GABRIELA BAEZA VENTURA is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of Houston. She has translated numerous children’s books, including Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia (Arte Público Press, 2014), There’s a Name for this Feeling: Stories / Hay un nombre para lo que siento: Cuentos (2014), Adelita and the Veggie Cousins / Adelita y las primas verduritas (2011) and Remembering Grandma / Recordando a Abuela (2003).
ATOS Interest Level: Lower Grades
Category: Picture Book
ATOS English: 3.8
ATOS Spanish: 4.1
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 118996