Mora, Pat. Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About A Giant Woman With A Great Big Heart. Illus. Raul Colon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.
Doña Flor relates the tale of a giant woman, who lives to take care of and protect her neighbors. When the village becomes frightened of a giant puma, she spends her time investigating the cat, ensuring her neighbors' happiness and safety.
The book is set in the American Southwest and introduces children, not only to pieces of Hispanic culture, but also to Spanish. It teaches children the importance of helping and caring for others. Additionally, it shows children that things are not always what they seem; the puma everyone is scared of ends up being nothing more than a tiny puma growling through a log.
Raul Colon's illustrations have a southwestern style and color palette. The drawing of the wind, in particular, is light, airy, and fanciful. In this case, the art augments the cultural representation of the work.
Peters, John. "Five Mighty Women." Teacher Librarian 37.4 (2010): 18. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.
"An original tale set in the American Southwest and features scratchboard pictures as big and gentle as their oversized subject."
"Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About A Giant Lady With A Great Big Heart." School Library Journal 52.(2006): 42. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.
"Winner of the 2006 Pura Belpré Illustrator Medal"
"Dona Flor: A Tall Tale About A Giant Lady With A Great Big Heart." Library Media Connection 24.5 (2006): 58.Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.
"Most tall tales were written long ago and featured men as main characters. This book is an excellent exception."
Students could utilize this book while studying the American Southwest.
To extend reading, students could read other books, written by Pat Mora, as well as books that reveal similar cultural experiences. For example, Gerald McDermott's Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest focuses on the same geographical region.
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