Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

Domitila and javelinas (a giveaway!) September 24, 2011

Filed under: reads — dayna @ 10:00 am

I know I’ve mentioned my book giving therapy before.  Here comes a good one:

We’re always up for a Cinderella story around this house. And if it has a regional flavor… even better!

We found Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition at our library a while ago and some of the variances on the fairy tale pleased this mama to no end.  The tale adapted by Jewel Reinhart Coburn, although featuring a beautiful heroine, emphasizes a legacy of humility, service, and kindness.

The sweet story is based on folklore originating in Hidalgo, Mexico. Domitila is a young woman who, because of family hardship, is driven to seek employment in the home of the governor. Before being called home for her mother’s death, Domitila captivates the tastebuds of the governor’s family, particularly the self-absorbed son, with her delicious nopales (a traditional dish made with prickly pear pads). With only a piece of hand-tooled sandal to track her down, the deeply flawed Timeteo goes in search of the girl who does “every task with care, and always adds a generous dash of love.”

The vivid oil paintings by Connie McLeman tell the story with pictures of colorful desert living and patterned borders. Although they were slightly lost on the three year old, I was delighted by the proverbs about life and love featured on each page in both English and Spanish. The sayings are profoundly beautiful, even if something is a bit lost in the translation.

This summer we also checked out what seems to be a local favorite. Susan Lowell’s The Three Little Javelinas is a well-written rendition of the traditional tale. The pigs are replaced by our dear bristly javelinas, while scheming coyote takes the place of the wolf. Even the building materials assume a Sonoran desert flavor in tumbleweeds, saguaro ribs, and adobe.

The little girls really enjoyed this book. They both spent a lot of time examining Jim Harris’ detailed illustrations with expressive critters and elaborate desert scapes.

Do you have any recommendations for unusual takes on “traditional” tales? What is your favorite Cinderella story?

Take your pick! Leave me a topic- related comment before midnight Tuesday, October 5th. One randomly selected commentor will recieve the copy of their choice.

Want a bonus entry? Try your hand at translating a favorite proverb or two from Domitila.

El amor es como el ojo de la aguja, sin el no hay ni costura ni remiendo.

El amor esta’ presente en el trabajo diario.

* Update: Congratulations to Claudia! One of her two entry numbers was selected by the true random number generator I used @

P.S. You girls are good! The translations given in the book word for word are:

Love is like a needle’s eye, without it, there is no sewing or mending.

It is in one’s daily work that love can be discovered.


8 Responses to “Domitila and javelinas (a giveaway!)”

  1. Ooh fun! I love the 3 Javelinas already book, and the Domitila one sounds really neat.

    I really like the book that’s the 3 Little Pigs from the Wolf’s point of view. By Jon Sciezrka I think?

  2. Make that Jon Scieszka. “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs”. 🙂

    • dayna Says:

      Thanks for the recommendation! We love to read a bunch of versions of the same story and then talk about the differences and similarities. We’ll have to check it out.

  3. And I don’t need another entry. But I wanted to go for the challenge of translating a language I don’t speak!

    El amor esta’ presente en el trabajo diario. Love is present in daily work.
    El amor es como el ojo de la aguja, sin el no hay ni costura ni remiendo. Love is like a bear that forgot its costume.

    Ok, I know the 2nd one is nowhere close, but I think maybe I was close on the 1st one?

  4. Donita Says:

    I can’t say I get much experience with Cinderalla stories in this house of 3 boys. But I am a big fan of beautiful illustrations.
    My grandma was from Mexico and would quiz me on phrases, sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in Italian. She was a smart lady!
    Never-the-less, my 3 years of college level Spanish has left me with almost nothing!!
    Here are my guesses…
    1st – Love is like the eye of a needle, without it there is no mending.
    2nd – Love is offered in your daily work.

  5. Claudia Says:

    1st love is like the eye of the needle, without it there is no sewing or mending
    2nd. Love is present in our daily work
    I’ve never heard of this Cinderella story. With two boys we read a lot of daredrvil action packed adventure stories now that we have our little princess are starting to read princess stories

    • dayna Says:

      You are amazing Miss Claudia!
      With the kids and the bilingue 🙂
      You were totally word for word on the first one. Have you heard that before? I thought it was a great analogy.
      The second one is, I think, the true translation. But in the book they phrased it “In daily work, love is found.”- which I thought was pretty:)

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