Animal Poems of the Iguazú / Animalario del Iguazú
By Francisco Alarcón
Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez
In the magical rainforest of the Iguazú National Park, butterflies are the multicolored flowers of the air. Great dusky swifts watch over the park, and the untamed spirits of jaguars roam the jungle. Spanning three countries—Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay—the thundering waterfalls and lush green rainforests of the Iguazú have dazzled visitors for centuries, and are now in danger of being lost.
Following the Amerindian oral tradition, award-winning Chicano poet Francisco X. Alarcón lets the animals of the Iguazú speak for themselves in their own soaring, roaring, fluttering voices, and the resulting poems are as urgent as they are beautiful and humorous. Maya Christina Gonzalez’s mixed media illustrations bring the colors and textures of the Iguazú rainforest to vibrant life.
About the Creators
was a renowned poet and educator, and a three-time winner of the Pura Belpré Author Award Honor for his bilingual Magical Cycle of the Seasons series of poetry for children. His many other honors include the American Book Award, the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, the Chicano Literary Prize, and finalist for state poet laureate of California. Alarcón was also the author of several poetry collections for adults and textbooks for teaching Spanish. In addition, he directed the Spanish for Native Speakers Program at the University of California. Alarcón passed away in early 2016.
is a widely exhibited artist renowned for her vivid imagery of strong women and girls. She has illustrated nearly twenty children’s books, and her artwork has appeared on the cover of Contemporary Chicano/a Art. My Colors, My World was the first book Maya both wrote and illustrated. Books that Maya illustrated include Laughing Tomatoes, From the Bellybutton of the Moon, and Angels Ride Bikes. She lives and plays in San Francisco, California.