A Land of Books: Dreams of Young Mexihcah Word Painters

Aztec artists

A young Aztec girl tells her little brother how their parents create beautiful painted manuscripts, or codices. She explains to him how paper is made from local plants and how the long paper is folded into a book. Her parents and others paint the codices to tell the story of their people's way of life, documenting their history, science, tributes, and sacred rituals. Duncan Tonatiuh's lyrical prose and beloved illustration style, inspired by the pre-Columbian codices, tell the story of how — contrary to the historical narrative that European colonizers bestowed "civilization" and knowledge to the Americas — the Aztec and their neighbors in the Valley of Mexico painted books and records long before Columbus arrived, and continued doing so among their Nahua-speaking descendants for generations after the Spanish Conquest.

Culture/Community: Mexican / Mexican American
Heritage & History: Hispanic Heritage and History
Indigenous Nations: Aztec
Format: Picture Book
Age Level: 6-9