Margarito’s Forest / El Bosque de Don Margarito
Written by Andy Carter and illustrated by Allison HavensHard Ball Press, 2016. ISBN: 978-0997979701
This true story, set in a remote village in the mountains of central Guatemala, helps explain one Maya family’s understanding of living in harmony with nature.
Margarito’s forest was inspired by Don Margarito and his lifelong commitment to the ecology of his community. After a young Esteban complains of having to carry a seedling tree to his grandmother’s house, he is told the extraordinary story of Don Margarito’s adventures learning about the varied benefits of his country’s woodland plants and trees. Don Margarito planted trees throughout his life despite the ridicule he faced from some villagers. Readers find out how his forest proved beneficial to the community, including being the perfect hiding place that saved his family during an attack on his village. Unfortunately, Don Margarito perished in that war, but his daughter, Maria Guadalupe, continues to tend to his forest to this day. At the story’s conclusion, readers find Don Margarito’s great-grandson, Esteban, honoring his great-grandfather and his forest.
The unique illustrations combine artwork from a professional illustrator and the children of an elementary school where the story is set. This bilingual English/Spanish story includes photographs; captions in the indigenous Mayan language spoken in Margarito’s village, Saq Ja’; and an explanation of Maya numbers.
The author also provides ten study questions for teachers, librarians, and parents.
El Bosque de Don Margarito
Written by Andy Carter and illustrated by Allison Havens