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Dona Flor: a Tall Tale About a Giant Woman With a Great Big Heart    by Pat Mora & Raul Colon order for
Dona Flor
by Pat Mora
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Neighbors in a 'tiny village in the American Southwest' love Dona Flor. This giantess reaches up to the snowcaps atop mountains. Flor can speak every language, even that of butterflies and grasshoppers. When late for school, village children ask, 'Por favor, Flor, could you give us a ride?' Her giant steps fall hard on the ground, and shake the escuela.

Flor built her home with clay, straw, and water, telling her village friends and animals to visit her - 'Mi casa es su casa.' Flor's tortillas, are so large that her neighbors use them as fragrant roofs for their houses, and children use them as rafts on the pond. One day Flor notices that her friends are not outdoors - the villagers are frightened of a big noise, 'Rrrr-oarrr!' While tucking in her animal friends for the night, the grumpy wind echoes 'SMACK!' Flor gives the wind a big hug to quiet it down. But the roaring noise continues to rattle pueblo windows, dishes, and even the neighbors' teeth! With the help of her animal friends, Flor goes in search of the noise, and finds a wondrous surprise.

Pat Mora provides engaging text mixed with Spanish words, and Raul Colon's illustrations are a combination of wonderful-to-look-at 'watercolor washes, etchings, and colored and litho pencils'. Dona Flor is a delightful read in an oversize book, elegantly depicting the gentle and generous giant woman, her friends, and the clouds in the sky that the gaintess uses for a bed. Imagine what it would be like to have a friend like Flor.

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