These folk stories teach the deep-hearted wisdom of the Cuban people.
Like a warm sea breeze, these tales will sweep your imagination away to the tropical island of Cuba. There you’ll meet a stingy old lady who owns the only fire in the world. She’s just skin and bones, but she can dance for three days and nights without stopping. She’ll give you a bit of her fire if your music is good enough to keep her high-stepping that long.
And—as if one wild dance weren’t enough—at another fiesta you’ll hear the animals playing such good tunes that you’ll be dying to get in—because you can’t enter if your head’s still attached to your shoulders!
You’ll also find yams that talk and a rose bush that sings a beautiful song—and an old devil man who leaves hairy footprints wherever he goes.
Like the green island of Cuba, these thirteen tales are full of warmth, laughter, magic and wisdom. Have fun reading and re-telling them yourself. Then you’ll be participating in the wonderful spirit of Cuban storytelling.
Learn more about the process of creating this book and Joe Hayes' trips to Cuba here on our blog. Joe made many trips to Cuba and spent time Holguín, Cuba which is a sister city of his hometown, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Dance, Nana, Dance includes the following 13 folktales as well as a note from Joe Hayes:
Yams Don’t Talk / Los ñames no hablan
The Fig Tree / La mata de higo
The Gift / El regalo
Dance, Nana, Dance / Baila, Nana, Baila
The Lazy Old Crows / Los viejos cuervos perezosos
Pedro Malito / Pedro Malito
Born To Be Poor / El que nace para pobre
Young Heron’s New Clothes / La ropa nueva del joven garza
We Sing Like This / Nosotras cantamos así
Buy Me Some Salt / Cómprame sal
The Hairy Old Devil Man / El diablo peludo
Compay Monkey and Comay Turtle / Compay Mono y Comay Jicotea
Joe Hayes is one of America’s premier storytellers. His bilingual Spanish-English tellings have earned him a distinctive place among America’s storytellers. Joe has published over twenty books. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and travels extensively throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
Mauricio Trenard Sayago was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1963. He was raised in a home that was closely linked with art and was surrounded by the artistic debates sustained by the various artists and art history professors in his family. This environment strongly influenced him. Mauricio came to the United States in 2000, and now lives in Brooklyn.