Author, Nina Jaffe, retells a myth that explains how water and Puerto Rico came into being. According to Jaffe, Puerto Rico was called Boriquen (meaning “land of the brave’) by the Taino, the first people who lived there. The Taino were a peaceful people who were conquered by the Spanish beginning in 1493 when Columbus arrived. Although the Taino people and culture have been declared extinct many Taino words and customs are still part of Puerto Rican life. This myth is part of that heritage.
According to the myth, in the beginning, the world had no water or plants. A child found some seeds, planted them on top of a mountain, and watched them grow into a lush forest with green leaves and many-colored flowers. One flower, however, was special and created a golden ball that attracted the attention of people from far and wide. When two men fought over the ball, the ball split open and poured forth water that formed the sea covering all the surrounding land except the mountain where the lush forest grew.
The story is illustrated with bold stylized figures and glowing colors that capture the feel of the Taino culture as well as bring the story to life. The clipped sentences employed to create a rhythm throughout the text, complementing the meaning. A Spanish edition is also available.