Fiesta Mexicali by Kelley Coffeen. Published 2002, Northland Publishing, paperback, $14.95, ISBN 0-87358-805. 136 pages, 25 full color photos.
They call this the cure for the common cookbook and Mexican food with American attitude. It is different and mouthwatering. The author hosts a TV show “Kelley’s Kitchen” and lives in Las Cruces. This book is a simple little book with great recipes: Manzana salsa, cha cha spread, margarita rumba, pappas con chile, pink cadillac margaritas, and citrus kiss. It would make a great gift — combined with some of the products highlighted. It talks about music, decorating, resources, and gifts. A perfect book to keep in the pantry for ideas and recipes.
El Cucuy! As told by Joe Hayes and Illustrated by Honorio Robledo. Published 2001, Cinco Puntos Press, hardback, $15.95, ISBN 0-938317-54-7, 15 color illustrations, 32 pages.
Everyone loves Joe Hayes. So this is a must book. It is called a “Bilingual Middle Reader” — it is in Spanish and English. Good to use with kids or adults learning Spanish. El Cucuy is the Bogeyman so any kid will understand the story. The pictures have a naive-kid quality that will make any aged kid enjoy reading. The more books that are bilingual the better.
Efraín of the Sonoran Desert: A Lizard’s Life Among the Seri Indians as told to Gary Paul Nabhan and illustrated by Janet K. Miller. Published 2001, Cinco Puntos Press, hardback, $16.95, ISBN 0-938317-55-5. 15 color illustrations, 32 pages.
Another tale released by Cinco Puntos Press. For any child who loves lizards and other icky creatures this is the book for them. This is all in English with a lot of lizard information and a bonus poster in the cover. Especially great for boys who have trouble finding good beginner books.
Cuento de La Llorona: Tale of the Wailing Woman. Videotape, 2001 Zozobra Productions. $19.95.
The video came in a simple package with no press material and a handwritten note to review it. We get a lot of vidoes in expensive packaging but watched this one because it was local. This is an adaptation of a book by Ray John de Aragon and self produced with his wife Rosa Marie Calles directing.
The video is a you-are-there in a stage production. It runs for about an hour. With many stage shows that go to video, a static camera sits way in the back of the audience and you are bored to tears. That is not the case here with close ups and some special effects. You are on the stage. This is good and can be especially good for high school and college classes studying the tale of Llorona. The language is Spanish and English but not to be afraid if you only understand one. It is entertaining and a valuable resource.
To obtain copies send $19.95 to Pan American Publishing, PO Box 1505, Las Vegas, NM 87701. The stage play will be coming to the South Broadway Cultural Center in Albuquerque during October (see page 54 for details).
Miguel Lost & Found in the Palace by Barbara Beasley Murphy, illustrated by George Ancoa. Published 2002 by Museums of New Mexico Press, paperback, $14.95, ISBN 0-89013-397-2.136 pages, b/w illustrations.
There are a million books for girls but very few good books for boys ages 8-12, where someone doesn’t get killed or involve violence. This is a good book. Girls will love it but they read almost anything. It is a good book for boys, especially Hispanic boys. It involves places they know and situations they can identify with easily. The book, obviously, centers around the Palace of the Governors.
This is the first of a series dealing with all of the Santa Fe museums. Ms. Murphy should think about adding the new MoSCA museum and expanding to Taos, Albuquerque and even Las Cruces. The illustrations are a little so-so, maybe kids like them. The book might benefit from a short glossary to help with Spanish terms for complete Anglos. But it is a great book for kids and should go on everyone’s gift list.
First published in Tradicion Revista, Volume 7, No. 2, Summer 2002.
Copyright 2002. May not be reproduced in any form without written permission.