for Amazonia by Daniel Munduruku and Nikolai Popov
Amazonia is an extraordinary book of Brazilian folktales that combines the authentic voice of Daniel Munduruku, a noted indigenous author who grew up in the Amazon rainforest, with the imagined Amazon of Nikolai Popov, one of Russia's major artists and its foremost children's book illustrator.
Many years ago, Nikolai Popov, Russia's leading children's book illustrator, illustrated an extensive, academic collection of Brazilian folktales. The sources for his illustrations were the stories themselves and his own richly imagined Amazonia. Today the book is out of print and only a few copies survive -- a fate shared by many great books from the golden age of Russian children's books.
Groundwood in collaboration with a Brazilian publisher, Edic§es SM Brasil, commissioned Daniel Munduruku, a noted indigenous Brazilian author, to select those stories he felt were most representative of the peoples of the Amazon and to retell them in his own voice.
Mermaids, jaguars, snakes, flying men, witches -- extraordinary creatures from the world's most important wild jungle live on in these tales. The stories are fascinating, and sometimes startling, as protagonists are killed off or transformed into animals or rise up precipitously into the heavens. But they offer a panorama of experience -- conflict and death, love and seduction, greed and gluttony, hunting and fishing, cooking and caring for plants -- and describe the origins of the natural world.
Munduruku's storytelling and Popov's imagination bring us the tales of the people of the Amazon in all their magic wonder.
An introduction describes the importance of myths, how the stories have survived and their relevance today. A glossary provides more information about animals and plants that may be unfamiliar to North American readers.