Spanish / Mexico
Valtierra, Emmanuel (illus.)
Ciudad de México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2022. –  p.
(Series: Los especiales de A la orilla del viento)
Central America | Migration | North America | Picture book | Leporello
Reading age: 10+
White Ravens issue: 2023
The fate of people who set out from Central America toward North America has often been the subject of literary works. In »Códice peregrino« Vivian Mansour and Emmanuel Valtierra make use of an additional historical facet. The leporello picture book borrows quite clearly from the pre-Columbian culture of Mesoamerica and the codices, or illustrated manuscripts, of the Aztecs. It depicts the perilous journey of a family heading north toward the USA. Along their route, they face fear, hunger, threats, robberies, gangs of traffickers, humiliations, and border fences, until they reach their goal. Whether their hopes will be fulfilled remains open in the end. This realistic story is depicted in a sometimes quite idiosyncratic, pictorial language that echoes the style of old legends. In this way, the story appears to a degree removed from the brutal reality of the journey and the narrative acquires depth. The innovative illustrations, which show modern-day experiences using the iconographic imagery of the ancient manuscripts, are astoundingly timeless. [JW]