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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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How Music Came to the World: An Ancient Mexican Myth Hardcover – March 28, 1994

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Carol Ober's stunning cutout oil pastels just might overcome the tedium of this wordy retelling of a Mexican legend. Ancient Mexican images become remarkably kid-accessible with her vibrant, fluidly patterned compositions; her assemblages of cutouts create an energetic and appealing 3-D, puppet-show effect. With its might-makes-right themes, however, the story lacks color and context. Tezcatlipoca, the sky god, and Quetzalcoatl, the wind god, decide to steal the music from the Sun and bring it to their silent world. Quetzalcoatl climbs a magical rope bridge up to the House of the Sun where he asks the Sun's singers and musicians to come with him. Rebuffed, he explodes with anger, frightening them into compliance. The language is pedestrian: "from dawn to dusk the melodies spread until music covered the earth." Even so, the magnificent art may suffice for some readers. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-Putting aside their traditional rivalry, Tezcatlipoca, the sky god, convinces Quetzalcoatl, the wind god, to go to the House of the Sun and bring music back to Earth. Quetzalcoatl goes, and when the Sun and his musical servants ignore him, he becomes so angry that he stirs up a violent storm and carries the musicians back with him. The world comes to life as they wander around, spreading their melodies everywhere. This retelling is based on a poem from a 16th-century Nahua (Aztec) manuscript. In a prefatory note, Hal Ober details modifications he made in order to maintain a logical order of events and to animate the story through dialogue. Despite this, the tale never comes to life. The text is wordy, the language is stiff, and it never quite flows. The gods' motivation for bringing music to Earth is not convincing, and its inherent beauty is overshadowed by the violence of its capture. The vibrant, cutout oil pastel drawings in vivid blues, yellows, and greens are full of Aztec and Mayan imagery and design elements. Carol Ober's technique involves moving the cutouts around on a stage, creating a three-dimensional diorama effect. There is real drama in the art. Yet, while the pictures are striking, some of them have a static look, unfortunately mirroring the lack of fluidity in the text. For a more balanced adaptation of an ancient Mexican tale about music, try the bilingual version of the Mayan legend Song of the Chirimia/La Musica de la Chirimia (Carolrhoda, 1992) by Jane Volkmer.
Lauren Mayer, New York Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 28, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395675235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395675236
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 11.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,366,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
While there are some issues between the text and the pictures, there is no better storybook to grab the attention of young students studing ancient American archaelogy, folklore and/ or effective book illustration. Each page is a jewel. Grade-A!
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Format: Hardcover
My younger son loved this book. Actually, maybe he just loved hearing his Dad say "Quetzacoatl" and "Tezcatlipoca".

He still loves music, and makes music. And he does know music is the gift of the divine. I like to think reading this book (and discussing the beautiful artwork) with him helped.
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