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*****= An all-time favorite
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****Juan Verdades

The Man Who Couldn’t Tell a Lie

Retold by Joe Hayes

Illustrated by Joseph Daniel Fielder

Reviewed October 15, 2002.
Orchard Books, New York, 2001.  32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (E HAY)

This book has a lot of text for a picture book, but would be a good choice for enjoying aloud with older children.  The story is put together from folk tale sources in a way to make a thoroughly satisfying story.

When several wealthy rancheros discuss their ranches, one boasts that his foreman, Juan Verdades, has never lied to him.  A second rancher makes a bet that he can get Juan Verdades to tell a lie to his boss.  He enlists his beautiful daughter in his plan.

The way the story comes around to make everyone happy is truly satisfying.  The book’s paintings are beautiful, and of course the story has a nice message about the value of telling the truth.  This isn’t a flashy book, but it’s one that tells a truly good story.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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