The Young Teacher and the Great Serpent
Imprint: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
A stunningly illustrated fable about cultural humility and the transcendent power of stories.
A young teacher sets out for the Amazon rain forest, eager to share geography, science, and math with the remote community of Las Delicias. The town’s children love the books the young teacher brings, and yet they keep repeating legends about a great and dangerous serpent. The young teacher can’t believe her students still care about that nonsense. But as the river rises, those stories don’t seem so strange anymore. Maybe books aren’t the only way to discover the wisdom of past generations…
The Young Teacher and the Great Serpent is a poetic, thought-provoking exploration of how stories can protect and guide a community. Bold, dynamic art and lyrical writing will open unforgettable conversations about cross-cultural relationships, the importance of indigenous knowledge, and what it means to be a lifelong learner.
The Horn Book Magazine
“Straightforward prose and intentionally vague characterization present the story as a fable with encouraging lessons about the importance of cultural exchange and the power of nature.”
De Los/Los Angeles Times
“This is a definite must for readers, young and old, offering a compelling story that resonates with the human spirit and the beauty of cross-cultural connections.”
“A wonderful read-aloud that serves as a gateway to the world of folklore.”
“This lovely story about inclusion and community encourages teachers to see themselves as students as opposed to missionaries. Schimel’s adept translation is beautifully complemented by the bold, expressionistic artwork.”