Golden Tales: Myths, Legends and Folktales from Latin America

The Research Behind the Book

To begin the research for this book, I first went back to the original versionsof the stories I so fondly remembered from my childhood. Then I looked for others as beautiful and compelling to add to this collection.

I conducted research in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Since many of the original versions of the tales that were written in old Spanish were not meant for children, I also had the additional challenge of retelling them in a way that would appeal to young readers.

About the Art

In the course of my investigations, I read and studied material that would later help me in creating the art.

To convey the mystery and magic that many of the tales possess, I decided to paint in oils. And in the effort to get closer to the art forms used by the specific indigenous cultures, I used linocuts to reproduce some of the early design motifs that had originally been carved into bone, stone, and wood– or woven into cloth.

In the painting that illustrates the tale "How the Rainbow was Born" from the land of the Zapotec, the god of lightning, the master of rain, is based on a funerary vessel from Monte Albán that represents the rain god.

The geometric motifs behind the god, from top to bottom, represent clouds, hail, rain, and wind. They were talken from the stonework at Mitla.