Pajaro Verde / The Green Bird - Joe Hayes,  Antonio Castro L. (Illustrator)
It's no secret that I love fairy tales, but one of my favorites is one that isn't super well known - Little One Eyes, Little Two Eyes and Little Three Eyes. I've always thought it would make such a fabulous picture book mostly because I delight in the macabre and wanted to see a great illustrator take on characters with odd numbered eyes. Pajaro Verde isn't quite the same story, and in fact bears more similarities to Cupid and Psyche or Beauty and the Beast, but it does feature nine sisters each with a different number of eyes - from the oldest with nine to the youngest who has only one. And the illustrations are awesome! So in a way my wish has been granted - although I'd still love to see a picture book version of Little One Eyes, Little Two Eyes and Little Three Eyes.

The story goes like this - one day the second youngest sister Mirabel, who incidentally has two eyes, impulsively agrees to marry a talking green bird (pajaro verde) who claims to be an enchanted prince. Her sisters are incredulous and tease her unmercifully, but Mirabel goes ahead with her plans. The sisters are unable to contain their curiosity and visit their sister in succession in an attempt to uncover the secret of el pajaro verde. The prince warns his new bride that if anyone discovers his secret he will have to leave forever. The story goes on in a fairly predictable fairy tale fashion, but is no less enjoyable for it. As I said above the illustrations are really remarkable - very realistic and detailed, but also exotic and magical. I could stare at that nine-eyed sister all day!

*Features text in both Spanish and English.