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A Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book


Written by Tony Johnston , Illustrated by Elisa Kleven

Harcourt, 1996

The people of the pueblo like the huge maguey that grows on the land of Don César. But Miguel likes it most of all. To him it is the best plant in the world...

“ The MAGIC MAGUEY works on several levels: as a storybook in which the solution to a pressing problem comes from a child; as a traditional tale of a country we can’t hear too much about; and as a satisfying 
Christmas legend. Kleven’s delightfully distinctive collages enhance the text with colors and textures.”
-- New York Times 


"Kleven's pinata-bright collages pulse with energy and color. Her depictions of traditional Mexican ornaments and dress ground the story in authentic and arresting detail." -- Publisher's Weekly 



 "Miguel thinks that the maguey is the best plant in the entire world because of the magical way in which it becomes a roof for their adobe house and thread for his mother to make his clothes...  Kleven's mixed-media collage creations glitter with details and convey an air of buoyant happiness." -- Booklist

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