Jade is a young girl who lives in a village next to a towering volcano. On its peak lives a Mountain Spirit who makes his presence known by rumbling the earth, filling the sky with smoke, and pouring lava down the mountainside. Angered by those who forget to honor him for providing their harvest, the Mountain Spirit has stopped sending rain to Jade's village and the people are faced with the possibility of having to abandon their homes and land.
As Jade collects water from the near-dry lake, a blue hummingbird--a messenger from the Mountain Spirit--tells Jade she must take a gift to the Mountain Spirit and ask for rain. Guided by the hummingbird, Jade presents her food offering to the Mountain Spirit. Pleased, the spirit offers the brave girl corn kernels that she takes back to her village and uses to create the first tortilla.
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About the Author
Rudolfo Anaya was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico and award-winning author of numerous books including the classic Bless Me, Ultima. He has received myriad awards and honors for his work including Western Writers of America's Owen Wister Award (2018), the National Humanities Medal (2015), the National Medal of Arts (2001) and the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement from the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes (2012). He lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the Southwest has served as an inspiration for his writing throughout his life.
Amy Córdova of Taos, New Mexico, is an artist, arts educator, and activist, renowned for her highly contextualized depictions of Latino cultures. She has illustrated over seventeen children's books and has been awarded the prestigious American Library Association Pura Belpré Award twice, in 2008 and 2010.
Enrique R. Lamadrid is a literary folklorist and cultural historian in the University of New Mexico's Department of Spanish and Portuguese.