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Prietita and the Ghost Woman/Prietita y la Llorona

by Gloria Anzalda

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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6?In this bilingual (English/Spanish) tale, Prietita seeks a remedy for her mother's illness. Do?a Lola, the curandera or healer, sends her in search of the rue plant, but Prietita gets lost in the woods. She appeals to the various animals (deer, salamander, dove) that she meets for help, but in vain. Then La Llorona appears and guides the girl to the plant and out of the woods. La Llorona, the "Crying Woman," is traditionally a bogey: frightening, unredeemable, she lures children away from their families and disappears with them. Anzaldua's story, though, casts her as a helpful, benign figure. A source note explains the reason for this change. Whether readers can accept this version or not, this tale provides a fascinating context in which to introduce and discuss folktales. The well-written English text includes a number of Spanish terms. Gonzalez's lovely folk paintings, awash in bright colors, authentically portray the people and native plants and animals of this South Texas locale. Prietita was also featured in Anzaldua's Friends from the Other Side/Amigos del Otro Lado (Children's Book Pr., 1993).?Marilyn Taniguchi, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews
Anzaldúa (Friends from the Other Side, 1993, etc.) offers a feminist interpretation of the familiar Mexican legend of la Llorona, the sobbing ghost woman who steals children at night. Night has already fallen when Prietita, lost in the Texas woods while seeking the plant that will cure her mother, hears a woman crying. In spite of her grandmother's frightening stories about the ghost woman, Prietita forces herself to go to her, and in the process discovers that ghosts--and probably people, too--aren't always what others think. The ghost woman benevolently guides Prietita to the right plant and then out of the woods. The text appears in both Spanish and English; dramatic illustrations with the bold forms of mural art completely fill each spread, laden with southwestern flora and Mexican motifs. (Picture book. 4-9) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Book Description
Ever since she can remember, Prietita has heard terrifying tales of la llorona — the legendary ghost woman who steals children at night. Against a background of vibrant folk paintings, Gloria Anzaldua reinterprets, in a bilingual format, one of the most famous Mexican legends. In this version, Prietita discovers that la llorona is not what she expects, but rather a compassionate woman who helps Prietita on her journey of self-discovery. “This tale provides a fascinating context in which to introduce and discuss folktales.” — School Library Journal



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