Mayan Folktales, Cuentos folklóricos mayas
by Susan Thompson, Keith Thompson, Lidia López de López
August 2007, 236pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Hardcover: 978-1-59158-138-3
$60, £47, 53€, A83
eBook Available: 978-0-313-09081-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Dozens of enchanting traditional tales from the Maya, presented in English and Spanish; plus background information, recipes, and color plates.

Discover the traditional stories of the Mayan people of Mexico and Central and South America, and learn about Mayan culture. In this collection you’ll find such tales as Uncle Rabbit, Uncle Coyote, How the Serpent was Born, The Moon, The Screamer of the Night, and more than 25 other tales ranging from trickster tales and tales of ghosts and witches to moral tales and tales of the underworld, presented in Spanish and English. A brief history, color photographs of the land, people, and traditional arts, and recipes accompany the tales, placing them within a cultural context. Grades K-12.


2009 Storytelling World Resource Award—Storytelling World, January 1, 2009


"This volume follows a familiar textbook structure--a brief history, followed by a solid and comprehensive compilation of folktales. What makes it unique is the editors' thorough research and their commitment to the culture's oral tradition. Most of the tales were recorded from regional storytellers and all have a Spanish translation. Many of the tales make excellent additions to a storyteller's repertoire, and the introduction and the full-color pictures give sufficient material for reports for older students. Noteworthy among the tales of gods, animals, and the supernatural is the Hansel and Gretel-like story of The Two Orphans, but it is the Mayan version of The Weeping Women/LA Llorona that will garner the most reader (or listener) interest."—School Library Journal, May 1, 2008

"If your collection is lacking in information about Mayan culture, you will be pleased with these retold stories. In addition to providing a succinct summary of Mayan history from the preclassic period through to Mayan life today, it also includes information on the geography, art, cooking, religion, and storytelling in Mayan culture....Recommended."—Library Media Connection, May 1, 2008

"This text for middle and high school students compiles 27 two-page retellings of Mayan folktales. The stories, presented in both English and Spanish, are organized by themes such as animal tales, stories of masters, and encounters with the supernatural. A brief history and portrait of the Maya and their lands opens the text."—Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2007

". . . an excellent source for enhancing a cultural diversity program. The folktales are generally brief and no longer than a few pages -- good for novice storytellers. While recommended for all ages, the stories, though some have double meanings, are generally appropriate for use with young children incorporating rhymes and finger plays; but the greatest use would be by the middle and upper elementary/middle school students and teachers. Exploring different areas of the world in their classroom curriculum as well as extending cultural programs would be greatly enhanced by this series." Reviewed as part of the World Folklore series.Catholic Library World, September 1, 2009
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