Zulema and the Witch Owl / Zulema y la Bruja Lechuza


An entertaining bilingual picture book featuring a spooky character from Mexican-American folklore.

by Xavier Garza
Spanish translation by Carolina Villarroel

ISBN: 978-1-55885-515-1
Publication Date: May 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ages: 4-9

Look Inside


Zulema Ortiz is the meanest little girl in the whole wide world.  She doesn’t have any friends, animals run away from her in fear, and her mom doesn’t know what to do with her.  But maybe, just maybe, her almost ninety-year-old Grandma Sabina does.

When Grandma Sabina comes to live with the family, the first thing Zulema says to her is, “You sure look old and ugly.”  Grandma Sabina calmly warns her rude granddaughter about the Witch Owl who prowls the night looking for mean little children, but Zulema just laughs defiantly at such a preposterous story.  Nothing scares her because she’s the meanest child in the world!

So when she gets into bed one night and something begins to tap at her window, Zulema isn’t afraid at first. She’s mad.  “Nobody plays tricks on me.  Only I can play tricks!” But as the noise at her window continues, the insolent little girl begins to lose her bravado.  And when a huge owl with glowing red eyes smashes through the window and swoops into her room, Zulema is ready to agree to its demands—even if it means promising to be nice!

In this exciting story about the consequences of being mean to others, Zulema learns something about herself and possibly her grandmother too. The imagination of children ages 4-9 will soar with this fun, suspenseful story by acclaimed author and artist Xavier Garza, whose knack for storytelling and creating lively illustrations captures the spirit of naughty Zulema.

Click here to listen to the read-along by Xavier Garza.