Jaguar, that sharp-toothed, beady-eyed bully of the forest, wants nothing more than to eat Rosa Raposa for dinner. But Jaguar had better watch out, because clever Rosa has a few surprises for him instead! In three hilarious South American trickster episodes, Rosa uses everything from trees and rocks to bees and honey to make Jaguar look like the biggest fool in the forest. After all, Rosa knows that even pointy teeth are no match for a sharp imagination!
I always liked foxes as main characters in stories, because there are small in comparison to other animals, but usually very clever, what provides an interesting horizon of possibilities. Rosa Raposa lives in the Amazon Rainforest, and the exuberant nature that surrounds her, invites the imagination to create trouble. When I visited Brazil I was overwhelmed by the landscape, it’s thousands tones of green, the variety of birds, the beauty of its nature. Although I learned these stories in Spanish settings I wanted to bring them closer to my present experiences.
Julie Cummins (Booklist, Sep. 1, 2002 (Vol. 99, No. 1))
“Campoy adapts three trickster tales from Spanish stories about a fox that bests a wolf and resets them in the Brazilian Rain Forest, changing the wolf to a jaguar. In each of these short stories, fox Rosa Raposa evades hungry Jaguar. First she convinces him to leap into a pit, then to tie himself to a tree, and finally she camouflages herself with leaves. Aruego and Dewey’s signature pen-and-ink, gouache, and watercolor illustrations play up the trickery’s humor and cheerfulness with expressive characters and bright, tropical colors–Jaguar is blue spotted with white and Rosa is vibrant orange and pink. An author’s note offers some background and word definitions, but it does not explain why Rosa, unlike the other animals, is given a special name. Nevertheless, the combination of Rosa’s wily thinking; the well-paced text, with a rhyme at the end of each chapter; and the sprightly pictures will make for lively read-alouds. Category: Books for the Young–Fiction. 2002, Harcourt/Gulliver, $16. K-Gr. 3.”
Denise Daley (Children’s Literature)
“Rosa Raposa is a quiet fox that would enjoy a peaceful life in the jungle if it weren’t for Jaguar. Being a great hunter, Jaguar is continually preying on poor Rosa Raposa. Fortunately, Rosa Raposa is crafty and quick thinking. She continually uses these skills to escape Jaguar, but still, he keeps coming back. In each of these three short tales, Jaguar never learns that even with his speed he cannot outwit a clever fox. Each story is light and amusing. The setting is the Amazon Rainforest, near the Amazon River. In her adventures, Rosa Raposa encounters things that are indigenous to this region in South America, and definitions for unfamiliar words are wisely given at the beginning of the book rather than at the end. Combinations of techniques were used to create the vibrant illustrations, all of which add to the enjoyment of the book. 2002, Gulliver Books/Harcourt, $16.00. Ages 8 to 12.”
Horn Book (Horn Book Guide, Spring 2003)
“Crafty fox Rosa Raposa and greedy Jaguar are the perfect stock characters for a lively trio of tales adapted from Spanish sources and reset in the Brazilian jungle. In all three tales, Jaguar is outwitted because Rosa Raposa knows how to appeal to his weaknesses: greed, vanity, ignorance. With its brilliant, interpretive illustrations well synchronized with a thoughtfully placed text, this is a real find for story hours. Category: Preschool. 2002, Harcourt/Gulliver, 32pp, $16.00. Ages 2 to 5. Rating: 2: Superior, well above average.”
Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002 (Vol. 70, No. 16))
“Deep in the Brazilian jungle, Rosa Raposa is making mischief. Basing the adventures of this crafty fox on stories recalled from childhood, Campoy has moved the setting from Spain to the Amazon Rainforest. Campoy skillfully crafts three episodes, each bearing its own title, in which Rosa outsmarts her long-suffering adversary, Jaguar. The mood is light and humorous as Jaguar is lured into a pit, is tied to a tree, or lands in the middle of a bee swarm. Set amid exotic flora and fauna, Aruego and Dewey’s characteristic illustrations blend pen and ink, watercolor, and pastels. Most scenes are entrenched in shades of green, but remain engaging as the sky varies-from lavender to pale yellow to bright blue-with each turn of the page. A combination of sharp pen-and-ink edges and minimal shading creates a two-dimensional quality, enhancing the folk tone of the work. The inclusion and rendering of the jungle’s inhabitants makes this a superlative medium to introduce South America to small children. An author’s note supplies a short glossary, defining some of the Amazonian plants and animals appearing in Rosa’s exploits. These brains-over-brawn tales are an exceptional experience in folk storytelling, with an education in the Amazon as a bonus. Jaguar had better keep his promise to return. 2002, Gulliver/Harcourt, $16.00. Category: Picture book. Ages 3 to 7. © 2002 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.”
Janice M. Del Negro (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, November 2002 (Vol. 56, No. 3))
“Identified as “South American trickster episodes” on the jacket, these are actually adapted from Spanish tales Campoy heard from her mother; she’s relocated them to the Amazonian rainforest of Brazil, changing the wolf to a jaguar and giving the fox the name Rosa Raposa in the process. Informed folktale fans will recognize standard trickster-tale elements: a trapped Jaguar turns on the animal that frees him, only to be tricked back into the trap by the clever fox in “A Cry for Help”; Rosa escapes Jaguar by pleading to be tied to a tree to be kept safe from “A Strong North Wind”; the wily vixen, covered in honey and leaves (and followed by bees), gains access to the river guarded by Jaguar in “The Green Dress.” The pacing of the storytelling here is consistently problematic: the first two tales are so spare there is little time to build any momentum or suspense, while the third tale would benefit from more controlled brevity. Concluding rhymes by Rosa Raposa are a bit singsong (“Beware of Jaguar’s bite./ And if you want to be safe,/ Always tie him very tight!”), but they do provide closure. Cheerfully cartoony, mixed-media illustrations sprawl across the pages in generic green jungle profusion, with Aruego and Dewey’s characteristic endearingly wobbly outlines. Rosa is a plump orange fox with a bushy tail, a personification familiar from other tales illustrated by these artists; Jaguar’s coat is bright blue with bright yellow swirls, which makes the usually camouflaged predator impossible to miss. Despite the pacing problems there is an inherent energy to Campoy’s storytelling; young listeners may find a soul sister in the small but clever Rosa Raposa. A brief glossary of unfamiliar terms is included at the beginning of the book. Review Code: Ad — Additional book of acceptable quality for collections needing more material in the area. (c) Copyright 2002, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 2002, Gulliver/Harcourt, 32p, $16.00. Ages 5-7 yrs.”