The Mouse Bride (1993-present)
Judith Dupré, illustrated by Fabricio Vanden Broeck. An adaptation of a Mesoamerican fable for children. Original edition: Alfred A. Knopf (1993, 29 pp, 9 x 7 3/4”). Spanish editions have been published by Santillana Publishing (1995; translation by Carlos Ruvalcaba) and Scholastic (1997, 2008; translation by Leyla Torres). A Japanese edition is available from Dowakan, Ltd. (1995).
This story is based on a fable told by the Chol Indians, who live in the rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico. Most Chols live near Palenque, a city of magnificent palaces and stepped temples, and the ancient home of their Maya ancestors. Although The Mouse Bride is a children's book, it can be read on many levels. The book is about love, about like finding like, about water reaching its own level—the big, universal issues of life that I grappled with while in Palenque as I sought to resolve my feelings about a crumbling marriage. Adults may find something of value in its pages.
The richly detailed illustrations—created by my talented collaborator, the Mexican illustrator Fabricio Vanden Broeck—are treasures culled from his close observation of the flora and fauna of the Mexican rainforest. The endpaper designs are based on glyphs found on the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, whose ruins still stand in Palenque.
Colors of Joy
In 1994, inspired by The Mouse Bride, the Mayan elders of Quintana Roo, Mexico asked me to help them record their traditional folk tales. That invitation yielded Colors of Joy, a cultural expedition that I led to Quintana Roo that was sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, the Instituto Nacional Indigenista, Mexico; and Mexican Tourism Board, NY. There, we taped and distributed 36 original folk tales in Yucatec Maya, Spanish, and English. Robin Holland recorded 2,000+ color photographs of the Yucatec Maya. These stories have yet to be published; for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
An illustrated history of ancient American Indian petroglyphs and pictographs. Wrote and illustrated book. Chronicle Books (64 pp, 120+ photos and drawings, includes 24 wood-backed rubber stamps). A Book-of-the-Month Club selection.
Before there were words, letters, or alphabets, there was rock art. Rock art, a powerful and beautiful form of writing with pictures, was made by ancient native people in many parts of the world. Native American Rock Art presents a wide range of North American pictographs and petroglyphs, and includes an informative book that explains the who-what-how-and-whys of rock art, a listing of places to see rock art, a suggested reading list, 24 rubber stamps that depict authentic Native American symbols, and directions for art activities inspired by traditional Native American crafts.
Native American Rock Art (1997)
Bread and Roses: How an Orphan Girl Helped American Women Win the Vote (historical fiction); From Pyramids to Skyscrapers (nonfiction); and The Magic Passport (creative nonfiction). Three Young Adult books written to NYS Level 6 literacy standards. New York: Benchmark Education, 2002.