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Secret Footprints
by Julia Alvarez
Binding: School & Library Binding, 40 pages
Publisher: San Val
Weight: 0.9 pound
Dimension: H: 0.2 x L: 10.8 x W: 8.5 inches
ISBN 10: 0613878027
ISBN 13: 9780613878029
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Book Description:
The Dominican legend of the ciguapas, creatures who lived in underwater caves and whose feet were on backward so that humans couldn't follow their footprints, is reinvented by renowned author Julia Alvarez. Although the ciguapas fear humans, Guapa, a bold and brave ciguapa, can't help but be curious especially about a boy she sees on the nights when she goes on the land to hunt for food. When she gets too close to his family and is discovered, she learns that some humans are kind. Even though she escapes unharmed and promises never to get too close to a human again, Guapa still sneaks over to the boy's house some evenings, where she finds a warm pastelito in the pocket of his jacket on the clothesline.


From the Trade Paperback edition. /Content /EditorialReview EditorialReview Source Amazon.com Review /Source Content Ciguapas are a secret tribe of beautiful people who live underwater in 'cool blue caves hung with seashells and seaweed.' Avoiding humans at all costs, they come out to hunt for food only at night. But the most remarkable thing about the ciguapas is that their feet are on backward. Walking on land, their footprints lead in the opposite direction. This helps them keep the secret of their existence from humans, who, they believe, would cage them and force them to 'take baths and do laundry and wash your hands before meals.' But once upon a time, a brave, bold, bright eyed and curious ciguapa named Guapa almost made real her people's worst fears. Straying too close to a human home one night, Guapa is discovered by a young boy. Escaping, she vows to be more careful. But her curiosity is stronger than her word, and soon she finds herself in the hands of a surprisingly kind human family.

This lovely old legend gently shows readers that preconceptions are often just that unbased biases that may very well change if the parties in question take a chance to discover the truth about each other. With lyrical grace, novelist, poet, and essayist Julia Alvarez retells this folk story remembered from her childhood in the Dominican Republic. Exquisite, dreamy illustrations by Fabian Negrin, replete with deep sea blues and jungle greens, carry the reader to a mystical place of warmth and beauty. (Ages 5 to 8) Emilie Coulter


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