Summary: A young chief who had been protected by a hummingbird is killed by his jealous uncle and
then transformed into a quetzal, symbol of freedom (Verso 1993).
Type: Pourquoi - because it tells us how the Quetzal bird came about.
Characters: Kukul, the young chief is strong, caring, and courageous. Chiruma, who thinks he should
be chief is arrogant and jealous of Kukul.
Setting: The story tells us that the Mayan people lived in Pyramids, palaces, and temples and this
is were Kukul was born. It also tells us this was "long, long ago."
Plot: Kukul was voted in as the chief of the village and Chiruma was very jealous. Kukul never
got hurt in a fight and Chiruma longed to find out why. One evening, Chiruma discovered that Kukul had a red feather. One
day Kukul was hunting when Chiruma shot an arrow through his chest. By the time Chiruma got to his body, there was only a
bird with a scarlet chest and beautiful green wings and a long tail. Chiruma became chief but it was not long before the village
was suffering and the city attacked. Chiruma was taken away as a prisoner and never heard from again.
Theme: The only theme I could see was that good always conquers evil.
Rating: 3 out of 5
This book was okay. I liked the illustrations and the story in general about how this chief turns into a Quetzal bird,
but overall the story was too long and my students lost interest in it. I found myself thinking "when is this going to be
over?" I am sure my students were thinking the same thing.