Monday, May 09, 2005

Miro in the Kingdom of the Sun

a picture book by Jane Kurtz, woodcuts by David Frampton
"Once upon a time, in the great city of Cuzco, in the ancient Inca kingdom of Peru, a prince was born to the Sun King...

Around the same time, a girl named Miro was born in an adobe and stone house by a vast grassland where thousands of llamas grazed."
Miro ran races with her brothers, cared for her family's llamas, and conversed with birds.

While Miro grew strong, the prince in the royal palace grew weak. Only water from a magic, hidden lake could heal him. Many were sent to retrieve the water, but few returned. Those who did brought back with them only terrifying tales of the jungle; none found the magical lake.

Among those who set out in vain were Miro's brothers. When they tried to pass off ordinary water as the magic healing water, the enraged Sun King "had the two brothers thrown into a dungeon filled with spiders and scorpions."

It was up to Miro, then, to save not only the ailing prince, but her brothers as well.

Miro in the Kingdom of the Sun was inspired by an old Incan folktake, "The Search for the Magic Lake." Jane Kurtz's version is an excitingly told story of adventure and bravery, featuring fascinating woodcuts by artist David Frampton.

I remember reading this book when I was little and dreaming up adventures similar to Miro's. It really got my imagination going!

Miro in the Kingdom of the Sun is a great read-aloud adventure. I can't imagine young readers not being enchanted by the story.