CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 7. . . .October 16, 2009
Thus concludes this panegyric about a historical figure and a 20th century revolutionary told in the form of a picture book. Viva Zapata is a fictional account of a formative event of Emiliano Zapata's childhood. Emiliano Zapata was the leader of the Mexican Revolution that swept the country at the turn of the previous century. Zapata, as the excerpt suggests, led the movement to redistribute land from wealthy landowners to impoverished campesinos.
Writing for children between ages 4-8, the authors try to accomplish two tasks: to tell a story about an earnest 10-year-old boy who rescues a herd of horses from ill-tempered "bandidos"; and to describe the origins of Zapata's revolutionary politics. Although the story is amusing, I wonder if children will enjoy the book. Arguably, children between the ages 4-6 will not understand the book's humor which is the central element of the story. I also wonder how caregivers and teachers would explain this complex episode of Mexican history to a child. Yet, parents and teachers of six to eight-year-old children may find this book a useful introduction to poverty or the history of Mexico.
Philip Bravo is a librarian at the Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.