Spanish / Mexico

Ladrón del fuego
(Fire thief)

Ojeda, Ana Paula (text)
Palomino, Juan (illus.)
México, D.F.: Ed. Tecolote [et al.], 2013.
– [32] p.
ISBN 978-607-7656-91-3
(Coedition with CONACULTA –
ISBN 978-607-516-312-3)

Fire | Corn | Time | Opossum | Trickster | Creation myth

The history and diverse cultural traditions of Mexico are thematic foci for Ediciones Tecolote. A new find in the publisher’s catalogue is this re-told myth about the tlacuache (opossum), who brought humans fire. On a mountain high above, it steals fire and corncobs from Senora Lumbre (Madame Glow), which it paints with the colours of day and night, and so brings time into the world. Why did the tlacuache do that? Because it was a trickster and wise, cunning, and bold enough to break the rules.

Ana Paula Ojeda succeeds in replicating the tone of old myths with a simple, sonorous language, in which the rhythm of oral storytelling traditions resonates. The expressive illustrations from Juan Palomino draw on the full range of nature’s palette. They are printed on dull paper, however, which fi ts the dusky mood of the beginning of the world. The use of stylised forms, ornamental elements, and quotations from the ancient Mexican iconography also suit the text very well. (Age: 6+)