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Popol Vuh: A Sacred Book of the Maya

by Victor  Montejo
Illustrated by Luis Garay
Translated by David Unger, from the Spanish

Published by Groundwood, 1999
85 pages
ISBN: 088899334X

Ages 9 and up

By adapting one of the oldest known books of the Americas, Victor Montejo has made the Mayan creation stories available to children for the first time. In the tradition of most sacred mythology, the stories tell of gods and demigods struggling to create the natural world we know today. One especially distinctive feature of the Mayan creation myth is the importance the creator places on language: he has several false starts, creating many species before he is satisfied with the speaking ability of the Men of Corn. Children may be particularly captivated by the tales involving the Hero Twins, wise, athletic tricksters who defeat the gods of the underworld by winning a ballgame, and who later become the sun and the moon. They will also be intrigued by Luis Garay's marvelously detailed paintings which depict the gods and goddesses for the most part as ordinary-looking human beings. This elegantly produced volume is also available in its original Spanish-language edition, Popol Vuj: Libro Sagrado de los Maya (Groundwood, 1999). CCBC categories: Folklore, Mythology and Traditional Literature.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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