Animal Poems of the Iguazú - Animalario del Iguazú

Animal Poems of the Iguazu illustrated by Maya Gonzalez

Written by Francisco Alarcón
Illustrated by Maya Gonzalez
published 2008 by Children’s Book Press,
an imprint of Lee&Low Books
Bilingual – English/Spanish
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“…Gonzalez assembles big, cheerful blocks of tropical color, invoking the falls with Matisse-like fronds of white and light blue… Alarcón writes with a kind of bubbly reverence, avoiding the sententiousness that characterizes much save–the–rain forest literature.”- Publishers Weekly

In the magical rainforest of the Iguazú National Park, butterflies are the multicolored flowers of the air. Great dusky swifts watch over the park, and the untamed spirits of jaguars roam the jungle. Spanning three countries—Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay—the thundering waterfalls and lush green rainforests of the Iguazú have dazzled visitors for centuries, and are now in danger of being lost.

Following the Amerindian oral tradition, award-winning Chicano poet Francisco X. Alarcón lets the animals of the Iguazú speak for themselves in their own soaring, roaring, fluttering voices, and the resulting poems are as urgent as they are beautiful and humorous. Maya Christina Gonzalez’s mixed media illustrations bring the colors and textures of the Iguazú rainforest to vibrant life.

Medium: Mixed Media-Cut Paper & Acrylic


  • Américas Award Commended Title
  • Notable Books for a Global Society Selection

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Check out this video of Maya making art with kids using this book at the 2008 San Francisco Green Festival: