The Gullywasher
El Chaparrün Torrencial

Author: Joyce Rossi
Pages: 32
Publisher/Date: Rising Moon/1999
ISBN: 0873587286
Age Levels: 5-8

Book Review

This superbly told tall tale begins with a young girl, Leticia, and her Abuelito (grandfather) looking at the southwestern sky and a distant gullywasher. As they wait to make sure the thunderstorm has completely died away before beginning their walk, Grandfather tells Leticia how he came to look as he does.

When he was younger he was caught in a mighty gullywasher. "After the storm was finally over," he says, "I saw how the water wrinkled my hands. When I looked at the reflection in a water hole, I could see that the rain had wrinkled my face, too. And that's the way I've look ever since."

And how did he get his white hair? During a siesta a hummingbird pulled out all the black ones for a nest. His round belly? Unpopped corn kernels mixed with chile peppers! And his stoop? The result of carrying his caballo (horse) home on his shoulders.

Told in both English and Spanish (on the same page), The Gullywasher is full of warmth and whimsy. The realistic watercolor illustrations are exquisitely rendered and filled with the earth tones of the southwest.

An excellent addition to your classroom library.

Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis
©2003 Education Oasis

About the Author

Originally from Marin County, California, Ms. Rossi has lived in northern Nevada for thirty-six years. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, with a degree in Elementary Education and has worked as a teacher, graphic designer, artist, and illustrator.