Jeff Zorilla, an American English teacher, contacted me last week to share a project that he and Argentine film critic, Natalia Cortesi, are seeking to make a reality. The two are raising funds to self-publish their book, Jungle Tales, a fully-illustrated English translation of the Latin America's most beloved children's book, Cuentos de la Selva, by Horacio Quiroga.
While these stories have been translated to over 10 languages, there is (surprisingly!) no English translation available. Quiroga's Cuentos de la Selva is a collection of eight short stories published in 1918 with resounding success. To this day, children in elementary schools all across Latin America read this book as part of their curriculum. Quiroga captures the magic of the jungle, which is the scene of great and exciting adventures illuminated by nature in all its splendor. A place where snakes throw glamorous parties with flamingos, stingrays join forces to fight off man-eating jaguars, and a giant tortoise carries a wounded man on its shell for hundreds of kilometers to bring him to safety.
Jungle Tales is illustrated by Dutch artist, Bert Van Wijk, who discovered the stories of Horacio Quiroga after he moved to Buenos Aires a few years ago. You can see samples of his work in the video below and on his website.
If the book is successfully funded, Jeff and Natalia expect to deliver the final product before Christmas of this year.
This would be a fantastic book to use with your children at home, or your students in the classroom.
You can help Jungle Tales become a reality for English-speaking students and English language learners across America and help bring a piece of Argentine culture to their lives. Jeff and Natalia's Kickstarter page even accepts $1 donations. Already, they are so close to reaching their $7,000 goal having raised $5,150. To donate, or learn more about their project, please visit their Kickstarter page. But please hurry, because their project will only be funded if they reach their goal by September 5th!
Natalia and Jeff have put together some great thank you gifts for those who make a donation. You can find a list in the sidebar of their project page. We have a fabulous community of bilingual parents and bilingual ed teachers here on MommyMaestra. I know we can help them to reach their goal. Below is a short video (you can also find it on their project page) to tell you a little more about the project.