about the book
Princess Izta was tired of suitors. They all said the same thing: “You are the most beautiful maiden in the land! Marry me, princess, and you will live in my luxurious palace. You won’t have to spend time in the fields ever again.”
She loved spending time with the people growing corn in the milpas! She never had to teach them poetry. It was her choice.
Then Popoca the warrior offered something different: “…I don’t have expensive gifts to offer, but if you marry me, I promise that I will love you for who you are. I will stay by your side no matter what, as long as tonatiuh rises, as long as the cenzontle bird sings.”
Izta fell in love with the lowly soldier.
In order to earn her hand in marriage, the Emperor required Popoca to defeat their enemy Jaguar Claw.
With victory close at hand, a great deceit threatens to separate Izta and Popoca. Will their love endure?
about the author
Duncan’s mother is from Mexico. Tonitiuh is actually Duncan’s middle name and, in Spanish, it is the Aztec God of the Sun. It is pronounced “Tohn-a-t-you.” His full name is Duncan Tonatiuh Smith Hernandez, but he likes to sign his books with just Duncan Tonatiuh.
He was born in Mexico City and was raised in San Miguel de Allende. It was the perfect place for Duncan to grow up, because the city is known for its fine art, architecture, and cultural institutes. Duncan loved drawing and making up stories. He did it all through elementary school and middle school. He moved to the US to attend high school but spent summers back in Mexico. During this time, he started making his own comic books and drawing cartoons of his classmates. He also started painting seriously.
Attending Parsons New School for Design and the Eugene Lang College, Duncan studied writing, illustrations, and photography. In his art, Duncan draws on ancient Mexican art, particularly that of the Mixtecs “to create images that honor the past but address contemporary issues that affect people of Mexican origin on both sides of the border.” In the ancient style, all his characters are only shown in profile but with a contemporary flair.
Also by Duncan Tonatiuh:
Funny Bones : Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras. Abrams Books for Young Readers. 2015.
Separate Is Never Equal : Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation. Abrams Books for Young Readers. 2014.
Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote : A Migrant’s Tale. Abrams Books for Young Readers. 2013.
Diego Rivera : His World and Ours. Abrams Books for Young Readers. 2011.
Dear Primo : A Letter to My Cousin. Abrams Books for Young Readers. 2010.
Adelita : A Mexican Cinderella Story by Tomie de Paola
In this Cinderella story, Adelita’s stepmother and stepsisters are as jealous as ever. When a local wealthy family throws a fiesta for their son Javier, Adelita’s old nanny makes sure she gets to the party in a beautiful rebozo—shawl. After she disappears from the fiesta at midnight, will Javier be able to figure her identity?
Anansi and the Magic Stick by Eric A. Kimmel
While all the other animals are hard at work, Anansi is lounging around letting his house and garden fall apart. Then he realizes Hyena has a magic stick for doing chores. All he has to do is steal the stick and everyone will stop laughing at his house! Will the magic stick be the secret for success or the beginning of disaster?
Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote : A Migrant’s Tale by Duncan Tonatium
Two years ago, Papa Rabbit headed to the lettuce fields to support his family, and Pancho eagerly awaits his papa’s return. When papa does not arrive, Pancho packs a bag of papa’s favorite food and heads north to search for him. Along the way, Senior Coyote offers to help Pancho in exchange for the food—but when the food runs out, this trickster plans to eat Pancho!