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Groundwood Books

The Honey Jar

Written by Rigoberta Menchú • Written by Dante Liano • Illustrated by Domi • Translated by David Unger

For students in grades 3 - 7 | Published September 01, 2020 | ISBN 9781773064536
JUVENILE FICTION / Legends, Myths, Fables / Caribbean & Latin American

Cover of The Honey Jar

Regular price $14.95 CAD

64 pages | 9.21 in × 6.14 in
Print Format

About this book

The Honey Jar

Rigoberta Menchú • Dante Liano • Domi • David Unger

The Honey Jar brings us the ancient stories the author’s grandparents told her when she was a little girl, and we can imagine her listening to them by the fire at night. These Maya tales include creation myths, a classic story about the magic twins (which can also be found in the Popol Vuh), explanations of how and why certain natural phenomena came to exist, and animal tales. The underworld, the sky, the sun and moon, plants, people, animals, gods and demi-gods are all present in these stories, and through them we come to know more about the elements that shaped the Mayas’ understanding of the world.

Rich and vibrant illustrations by Domi perfectly complement these magical Maya tales.

About the Creators

Rigoberta Menchú

Rigoberta Menchú Tum won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. She lives in Guatemala and devotes herself to fighting for the rights of Maya Guatemalans and other Indigenous people in the Americas as head of the Fundacion Rigoberta Menchu Tum. She has received numerous international awards and honorary degrees and has also written Crossing Borders: An Autobiography, and I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala. Her other books for young people, co-written with Dante Liano, include The Girl from Chimel and The Honey Jar, both companion books to The Secret Legacy.

Dante Liano

Dante Liano is an eminent Guatemalan writer and National Literature Award laureate. He currently lives in Milan, where he teaches Latin American literature. He is the author of The Man from Montserrat and The San Andres Mystery, and co-author of The Girl from Chimel and The Honey Jar.


Domi is a well-known Mazateca artist, whose vivid illustrations appear in many children’s books, including The Story of Colors by Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos, The Night the Moon Fell (La noche que se cayó la luna) and The Race of Toad and Deer (La carrera del sapo y el venado), both by Pat Mora. She has also illustrated The Girl from Chimel and The Honey Jar, by Rigoberta Menchú and Dante Liano. She lives in Tlaquepaque, Mexico.

David Unger

David Unger is an award-winning translator and author born in Guatemala. His work has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Chinese. He received Guatemala’s 2014 Miguel Angel Asturias National Prize in Literature for lifetime achievement, though he writes exclusively in English and lives in the US. His many translations include The Girl from Chimel, The Honey Jar and Popul Vuh: A Sacred Book of the Maya.

Awards and Praise

Praise for The Honey Jar:

Commended Americas Award Title, 2007
Long-listed Child Magazine Best Book Award, 2006

“This collection by a Nobel Peace Prize winner is a first-purchase addition to any library that includes African legends and myths, Native-American how and why stories and the literary tales of Rudyard Kipling.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Colorful naive oil paintings and a friendly style that is at once childlike and conversational add to the book’s appeal.” — School Library Journal

“If there’s a word to describe Rigoberta Menchú Tum and her mother and all the Maya who continue to struggle to maintain land, culture and community, that word would be courageous… Both Rigoberta Menchú and her stories are an international treasure. Highly recommended.” — Beverley Slapin, MultiCultural Review

Praise for The Girl from Chimel:

An American Library Association Notable Books List selection

“Younger readers may find the tales, and some of the anecdotes, of interest, but adults will respond most strongly to these misty reminiscences—and to the poignant undertone added by Menchú’s hints of ensuing troubled times.” — Kirkus Reviews