Cover image for Niño's mask
Niño's mask
Winter, Jeanette.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Told that he is too young to wear a mask at the Fiesta, Niño make his own mask and surprises his family and the whole village. Includes a glossary of Spanish words and an author's note.
Format :


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Material Type
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J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Niño longs to take part in the annual harvest fiesta. He wants to wear a glorious mask and be the hero who captures the villainous jaguar during the ceremonial race. His parents think he's too young, but that won't stop him. Maybe if he makes his own mask, he'll have a chance to shine.

Acclaimed author/artist Jeanette Winter beautifully incorporates Mexican motifs and traditions, as well as Spanish words, into her empowering, magical tale of a young boy who makes his own dream come true

Author Notes

Jeanette Winter has written and/or illustrated over a dozen children's books, including "Calavera Abecedario" and "The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq," as well as biographies of Diego Rivera, Johann Sebastian Bach and Georgia O'Keeffe among others.

Winter is celebrated for her distinctive painting style, picture design, and usage of brilliant colors. She has received the American Illustrators Guild Award twice.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

K^-Gr. 3. When Nino is told he is too young to wear a mask at the fiesta, he carves his own and surprises his family and the village by becoming the hero Perro who catches the Tigre and saves the corn crop for the year. The story, relayed in hand-lettered dialogue balloons, is told in first person with Spanish words (in capitals) incorporated into Nino's thoughts as he considers all the masks and figures he could be. Winter's art is more textured than usual, with decorative lines creating patterns that reflect Mexican motifs. Her felt-tip-pen pictures, infused with warm pinks and oranges, capture the flavor of the story's backdrop. An illustrated glossary and an explanation of the fiesta customs can be found on the back page. Pair this with Dream Carver, by Diana Cohn (2002), for an engaging tribute to Mexican folk art. --Julie CumminsNew Graphic Novels for Youth

Publisher's Weekly Review

Winter (Josefina; Day of the Dead) revisits Mexico and its traditions in this chipper original tale. Nino dreams of playing a role in the annual village Fiesta of the Tigre (festival of the jaguar). "Can I wear a mask this year?" he asks his father, but the answer is always "When you are older, Nino." Not to be put off, the enterprising lad decides to carve his own mask. Should he be a conejo (rabbit)? A ciervo (deer)? He finally settles on the hero role of perro (dog), who chases and catches the tigre (a jaguar, "who would kill our corn," Nino explains). A series of panels shows the boy methodically carving and painting his mask. Nino has a grand time at the fiesta, and a climactic split spread depicts the perro closing in on the tigre; everyone acts surprised when Nino is finally unmasked. Winter neatly slots her crisp prose into speech bubbles, lending the outing an inviting look and a rapid pace. She laces the pages not only with Spanish words but with Mexican motifs (including vibrant designs on the townspeople's clothing). Winter punches up stylized south-of-the-border architecture with shades of fuchsia, turquoise and aqua, while setting off freshly plowed fields of mauve and melon with an orange sun rising in a rosy pink sky. A small glossary and brief illustrated endnote, explaining the role of masks in Mexican celebrations, further bolster this eye-catching book. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Nino aspires to play the role of the perro in the Fiesta of the Tigre in his small Mexican village. Despite being told that he must wait until he is older, he is determined to perform the part of the animal that ensures the success of the corn crop by chasing the tiger out of town. He carefully watches the local mask maker, and when ready, carves and paints a mask of a dog to wear during the festivities. This simply told story is about a colorful cultural and artistic tradition and a boy's longing to be part of it. The tale and the art begin on the endpapers as adults and children anticipate the coming fiesta. Winter stages her scenes in shallow spaces and makes the most of unusual angles and foreshortening. Outlined in black and featuring bright blues, greens, pinks, and yellows, they suggest the vibrant color and detail of Mexican folk art. This title would make a great introduction to George Ancona's photo-essays on Mexican artisans: The Folk Arts (Benchmark, 2001) and The Pi?ata Maker/El pi?atero (Harcourt, 1994).-Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.