Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Tania Maria Rodrigues-Peters Does It Again!

 

Tania Maria Rodrigues-Peters...

Presents Her Latest...

The Legend of the Black Lake







I am always anxious to see the latest book by Tania Maria Rodrigues-Peters. Mainly because she creates not just a book--she creates an artistic masterpiece beautifully blending her words with complementary pictures. She also involves somebody from her native country, Brazil, as well as talk about where she lives now and gives full credit to those who work with her. Felipe Campos as illustrator and Paula Vaz-Carreiro as translator continued with her from her first book, Mozart in the Future. I also admire that she makes an effort to get her books out by automatically arranging for their translation to various languages.

The Legend of the Black LakeNow I must say that Felipe Campos has provided so much more than illustrations for The Legend of the Black Lake.  Kudos to you Felipe for creating and allowing the artwork to become such a significant contribution to the overall effect of the book!

Tania uses this book to teach about prejudice, using a simple easily understood story of two teenagers who meet and fall in love.

The setting is in the Vorarlberg region of Austria where people far and wide come to see a strange sight--a "lake as black as the night." (p.10) One such visitor was a small boy who, when he saw the lake, begged his father to stop. He gazed at the lake, wanting to know why it was black. They saw an old man nearby and went to ask him if he knew why it was so black.

The little old man, who looked almost like a giant leprechaun to me, said that he did but it was a very, very, very old story. He even commented that it was like one of those love stories in books...and I added, thinking, like Cinderella or Snow White..

The little boy begged to hear the story, declaring himself a curious boy and he saw that even his father was now interested! (Have you ever noticed that lots of children's books are also wonderful to read as adults?)

And so the old man started telling about a time many, many years ago, in their village of Vorarlberg that there had been a family who had a very, very, very beautiful daughter named Katharina.  Her skin was white--very, very, very white, in fact--her hair was red and her eyes a deep blue. In fact her eyes might have been the same color of blue as the lake! For it was not black at that time...

Now Katharina was still young, but already sons of noblemen were starting to call. At that time, the parents chose the man to whom their daughter would be wed. Actually, Katharia was really not interested in meeting anybody! She enjoyed living near the lake and spent a lot of time sitting there beside the pure water.  The lake was so important to her that she treated it like a friend, admiring it and telling all her secrets there, even though she never got a response. In fact, the lake, "though mute, soaked up every word."(p. 41)

And then one day at the lake, she was frightened by finding a young man laying at her feet.  The boy was "black--as black as the night." She knelt to find out if he was alright--it didn't look like he was hurt, so she spent time admiring him, she thought him quite beautiful. Realizing he was sleeping, when he awoke  he explained he was lost and very hungry...his name was Paul.

Katharina immediately invited him home to eat, but Paul explained that sometimes people were afraid or didn't like him because his skin color was different. So Katharina brought food to him and they became friends.

Tania says so much in her stories and yet they are presented so that anybody will understand and be inspired. I loved this story. If I remember right, there was already a "legend" about the lake but I think you'll find that this is so beautiful a tale, that it just has to be the real reason that the lake is so very, very, very black! Ok, I enjoyed the "very, very, very" used by the old man!

Yes, it's for children...children of all ages from 5 to 105! Very, very, very highly recommended! Would make a beautiful holiday gift!

Book provided by
Publisher

G. A. Bixler

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