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Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman…
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Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart

by Pat Mora

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Meet Doña Flor - a kind and caring woman who happens to be a giant. In her little village, she really stands out, but Doña Flor has many friends, both people and animals, whom she helps in big ways, from drawing out a new stream with her finger to taming a naughty puma who has been scaring everyone. Every page is a surprise to young children, who will have fun seeing how Doña Flor’s every-day routines include things like huge, snow-topped mountains for her cold water-basin or big, fluffy clouds for her pillow. The dreamlike illustrations feature watercolor over etching, creating a soft, welcoming feeling, and the sequence of the story begins with waking in the morning and ends with going to bed at night, giving the tale a pleasant sense of wholeness and closure. And bonus points for cultural diversity – Doña Flor weaves some Spanish words into the story, which will intrigue children unfamiliar with the language and delight those who are familiar with it (though without a glossary or exact definitions in the text, it is more of an embellishment than a teaching tool). Winner of the Pura Belpre Medal, it will make for a great story-time in any children’s library. ( )
  AmandaPalomino | Oct 1, 2014 |
Ages 4-8.

Dona Flor is an original tall tale about a giant woman who loves to help her neighbors. She reads to children and animals as they climb over her, brings a river to the village, and plucks stars from the sky to light her neighbors’ way. When the village becomes frightened by the roar of what they imagine is a terrifying creature, Dona Flor sets off to save the day and discovers all is not as it seems.

Readers will be enchanted by the book’s wonderful imagery: roots so big people can hear them growing, roofs made out of tortillas that smell like corn in the warm sun, and musical notes trumpeting from giant flowers. Dona Flor shows children that even imaginary worlds need descriptions that engage the senses.

The text incorporates Spanish words and phrases, reflecting the culture of Dona Flor’s village in the American Southwest. Spanish text is either given next to the English equivalent, or is understood through context.

Colon uses a combination of watercolors, washes and etching to create visually arresting illustrations that complement the warmth and wonder of the text. The resulting mix of textures, shades, and hues will fascinate children and adults alike.

Readers will want to listen to Dona Flor’s big hearted adventures again and again. Highly recommended. ( )
  Rachel.Seltz | Dec 11, 2013 |
Genre: Folk Tale. Dona Flor interacts often with animals and customs and values are seen through the character of Dona Flor such as making tortillas, caring for others, and protecting her family.
Characterization: Dona Flor is a static protagonist. Throughout the book she is constantly looking after the people in her village.
Media: Colored pencil ( )
  ariellamendez | Apr 16, 2013 |
Review: Dona Flora is the story of a giant woman who even though she is big, becomes a special and important part of her community. Dona Flora is able to do things that a normal sized person could never do such as wrestling with wind, and facing a giant wild cat/puma.

Genre: Dona Flora is an example of a multi-cultural tall-tale about a giant who protects her village. This an example of multi-cultural, because it brings a strong sense of Latino culture in to the story through different elements, such as a myriad of words in Spanish. The tall-tale aspect comes with the unrealistic feats that Dona Flora is able to accomplish, such as wrestling the wind and making the giant sized tortillas. Her size alone is unrealistic and the way she calms the puma is as well.

Character: Dona Flora, as a character, is a great example of an integral protagonist, one who is central to the story and its elements. Within the story you see Dona Flora experience many different things, being made fun of, building a house, making tortillas, reading, protecting her community, etc. Throughout all these experiences, we don’t see any real emotional growth or change from Dona Flora, but we see her as a steady, loving giant-hearted person in her community.
  Laceyjo10 | Oct 18, 2012 |
Dona Flor is a giant lady who loves her neighbors and is often helping them out, playing and reading to their children. One day they hear a loud scary noise. Dona goes to investigate and finds a puma roaring in a hollow log which amplifies his voice to the surrounding valley. Everyone is relieved it isn't something more. In the classroom: introduction to the picture book and folktales, storytelling ( )
1 vote KatherineLo | Jun 27, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375823379, Hardcover)

Doña Flor is a giant lady who lives in a tiny village in the American Southwest. Popular with her neighbors, she lets the children use her flowers as trumpets and her leftover tortillas as rafts. Flor loves to read, too, and she can often be found reading aloud to the children. One day, all the villagers hear a terrifying noise: it sounds like a huge animal bellowing just outside their village. Everyone is afraid, but not Flor. She wants to protect her beloved neighbors, so with the help of her animal friends, she sets off for the highest mesa to find the creature. Soon enough, though, the joke is on Flor and her friends, who come to rescue her, as she discovers the small secret behind that great big noise.

The creators of TOMÁS AND THE LIBRARY LADY, Pat Mora and Raul Colón, have once again joined together. This time they present a heartwarming and humorous original tall tale-peppered with Spanish words and phrases about a giant lady with a great big heart.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:43 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Dona Flor, a giant lady with a big heart, sets off to protect her neighbors from what they think is a dangerous animal, but soon discovers the tiny secret behind the huge noise.

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