It Happened in Chichipica
Delicate illustrations and prose explore each individual's need for love and a sense of belonging in a complex world
Out of ideas for the holidays?
Visit our Gift Guides and find our recommendations on what to get friends and family during the holiday season. Shop now .
- Hardback | 127 pages
- 106.68 x 167.64 x 10.16mm | 68.04g
- 23 Nov 1971
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
- United Kingdom
Looking for beautiful books?
Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more. Shop now .
"In Chichipica we don't go for big numbers - we go for big men," for big men like Don Pepe, the curandero (doctor of all trades): "And what a doctor! A boy with a broken arm, a cat with a wishbone in its throat, or a wheelbarrow without a wheel would all leave his shop perhaps a little giddy, but as good as new"; or like "Rodolfo Rodriguez, the baker and the champion weight lifter, six feet one, two hundred and twenty-five pounds, without huaraches!" This is an unhurried, unassuming idyll, sometimes on the hyperbolic side of quaint, however, through whose episodic yet piquant vignettes an ethnic ethic unfolds: "Alarm clocks are so un-Mexican" - but Chichipica isn't really sleepy. . . . Much as the people hate rush and pressure, "when a dear friend is in trouble. . . . At once, all those soothing terms like manana and con calma - calmly - are swept aside as so much dust and cobwebs. This happened when Chucho got into trouble." Chucho is the village's star scholar and he's framed by El Coyote (he's the village's star gambler and, unfortunately, an Indian); nobody is fooled of course and the whole town rallies to wring a confession from the boy who also stole and sold his own brother's machete and tried to ruin Don Pepe's ranchero. His record unblemished, Chucho is granted the coveted scholarship for combined high school and college studies in the state capital - he wants to teach. . . like Maestro Lozo who shows them all how to speak with the inimitable "gringo mouth": "'Name quickly the best-known volcano in Mexico!'" - "'Popocatepetl.'" "'Good. Now repeat after me: This is a bottle.'" - "'This is a bottle. . .'" - "'Excellent!. . . . Any Mexican who can pronounce Nahuatl without breaking his tongue can pronounce any language on earth, even the most impossible - English!'" There are animals too - a dog and a pregnant burro - and so it goes, betokening an affectionate tourist's impressions and, surprisingly, beckoning. (Kirkus Reviews)