The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes

18 min. Dist. by Dreamscape. 2016. $38.99. ISBN 9781520049472.
RedReviewStarK-Gr 4—Award-winning author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh has taken a treasured Mexican folktale and rewritten it with spare, Aztec-inspired artwork in this story of Princess Itza, whose heart was won not by a prince but by a humble warrior. His only chance to marry the princess lies in victory against the enemy. That triumph, however, is useless, for upon his return, he finds that a false report of his death has sent his love into an eternal slumber. He takes her in his arms and carries her away, and the two eventually become volcanoes—Iztaccihuatl in dormant slumber, and the active Popocatépetl, which attempts to awake the other. This is a well-told tale, narrated by Tim Andrés Pabon. Tonatiuh's illustrations have been simply animated, and their clear and vivid designs stand out on-screen. The narrative is peppered with Nahuatl words and includes a glossary that provides pronunciation and definition. There is also an author's note explaining the story and the artwork.
VERDICT This is an exceptional production that would be a valuable addition to folktale collections.

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