Martin de Porres : The Rose in the Desert

martín de porres, ilustración por David Díaz 1

Martin de Porres : The Rose in the Desert

Este libro infantil de Gary D. Schmidt y con ilustraciones por David Díaz ha cosechado elogios por parte del público y de la crítica especializada, obteniendo una mención honorífica como reconocimiento a la brillantez y originalidad del mismo, además de un premio en el apartado de las ilustraciones. Gary D. Schmidt es un profesor de inglés, autor de varias obras infantiles y novelas para jóvenes, con éxito de ventas en su país. Este escritor, amante de la naturaleza, vive con su esposa y sus seis hijos en una granja en Alto, Michigan, lugar donde se inspira para escribir sus relatos.

El ilustrador David Díaz, por su parte, recibió en reconocimiento a este excelente trabajo la prestigiosa Medalla a la Excelencia Belpré en la Literatura Latina Infantil -dentro del premio Pura Belpré, concebido en homenaje a la primera bibliotecaria latina– durante la ceremonia anual de la American Library Association de 2013. Las ilustraciones deslumbrantes de Díaz para este libro “Martín de Porres: La rosa del desierto” demuestran su uso experto del color, la perspectiva y el contraste para retratar luminosos ejemplos de medios mixtos que complementan y amplían la biografía del primer santo con patrimonio africano de las Américas. Este ilustrador y diseñador gráfico, que también se dedica a la pintura de la cerámica, ha recibido además otros muchos premios por sus obras.

Este tipo de libros, además de su valor pedagógico y moral, es una herramienta muy útil para practicar, de una manera amena y eficaz, la lectura comprensiva del inglés con nuestros hijos. A continuación un pequeño extracto del mismo:

martín de porres, ilustración por David DíazAnna carried the baby into the cool dark of the cathedral. But when the priest unwrapped him, he frowned. “Is the child’s father Spanish?” he asked. Anna’s heart beat quickly. “And you are African?” he said. Anna nodded. The priest frowned again. The baby’s father was a royal conqueror. His mother was a slave. “Who is this child?” “He is a rose in the desert,” said Anna.

Martin’s mother struggled to raise him and his sister in deep poverty in sixteenth century colonial Lima.

Hunger lived in their home. Illness was their companion.

But even there, there was compassion. Martin’s father took him into his household in Ecuador, saw to his education, and took him to a cirujanoto learn the skills of healing and care, and soon his abilities began to amaze those whom he helped. One man whose grave wounds Martin healed gave him lemon seeds, and the tree that grew amazingly produced fruit in the first season and continued to bear the year around.

“Who is this strange boy”, the neighbors asked.

Back in Lima as a young man, Martin presented himself for the brothers of the Monastery of the Holy Rosary.

“You are not of pure blood. You can never be a priest”, they said.

But Martin simply requested a position as servant, and while he swept and cared for sick and hurt animals in the country round, his fame as a healer spread. Not only did Martin cure and tame the stray dogs in the area, but he also used his skills to cure the people, some in seemingly miraculous ways, until stories of Martin’s powers took on legendary qualities. His lemon and orange trees bloomed and bore fruit all year, and the bread he brought to feed the poor never seemed to be gone until all were fed. Some even said they had seen him walking with angels. By the time he closed his dark eyes for the last time in 1639, Martin de Porres was venerated by churchmen, nobles, and poor alike.

Martin de Porres – The Rose in the Desert by Gary D. Schmidt

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