Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Review for How the Gods Created the Finger People by Elizabeth Moore and Alice Couvillon
How the Gods Created the Finger People by Elizabeth Moore and Alice Couvillon
Pelican Publishing; Bilingual edition
March 3, 2011
Juvenile Fiction Country and Ethnic Fairy Tales/Folk Lore Picture Book
Both Elizabeth Moore and Alice Couvillon graduated from Newcomb College. Couvillon later earned a master of arts in teaching from Tulane University and has been a teacher at Mandeville High School for more than two decades. They are also the coauthors of Pelican's Mimi's First Mardi Gras, Mimi and Jean-Paul's Cajun Mardi Gras, Louisiana Indian Tales, Evangeline for Children, and Ancient Mounds of Watson Brake: Oldest Earthworks in North America. Moore and Couvillon reside in Covington, Louisiana. Luz-Maria Lopez received her B.A. from Southeastern Louisiana University, where she was selected as the Outstanding Graduate by the visual arts department. She was commissioned by the university to create artwork depicting the native peoples of the Americas. Her work has appeared in galleries and museums across the country. Lopez lives in Covington, Louisiana.
Reviewer: Renee Hand
How the Gods Created the Finger People is a delightful tale about the creation of humankind.
This story begins with a girl named Luz-Maria who grew up in Honduras where she smelled the intoxicating orange blossoms from the grove every day. She grew up with her grandmother telling her stories about her Mayan ancestors. Some were fables to teach Luz-Maria about right from wrong, but they were stories she would always remember.
The fable begins with the Mayan Gods. One day they grew sad. They had created many beautiful things—trees, flowers of all colors, birds with beautiful song, as well as beasts of all kinds—but the Gods were lonely.
Wanting something to love, they decided to create the first human. They did this out of clay, but this new human would have to undergo some tests to see if it could live through water and fire. So they ran water over him. Of course, the clay figure melted away.
That wouldn’t do, so they tried something else and made man out of wood. Man passed the water test by floating, but when it came to making it through fire, POOF! Man turned into a pile of ashes.
It took the God of Gold to recommend that man be made out of gold which could withstand water and fire. Everyone agreed so they made man out of gold. The problem was that the man would not eat or relish in his surroundings.
The Good-Hearted God recommended that man should be made by them, of them, so that he could have feelings. So they used their own fingers to create man, and man began to flourish, but man didn’t want to be tested by water and fire. To catch them would be but impossible to do.
So the Gods decided to rest. But the humans decided to make friends with the man made out of gold and give him something that all humans need to be happy. Can you guess what that was?
This 32-page picture book is similar to many tales around the world about how humans were created. The illustrations are well done with their great detail and dancing colors. This book is written in English, as well as Spanish. Those who love fables specific to certain countries and cultures will find this one a delightful addition to their library.