Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Sweet Stories of Santiago City

Santiago! Walking around the city center was interesting, though completely not what I expected. I had some idea of a very modest city and wasn't expecting these very European style palaces at all.
Lively main plaza's filled with peddlers selling some usual, and some rather unusual fair. I'm not sure how many parents sit their kids on these hideously badly stuffed horses and donkey's. They were pretty manky. Mr E and I opted to have our polaroid picture taken by a man with a lama. The lama was very much alive. And when I say 'opted' I mean I made Mr E pose with the lama and I! Poor dear, but it was worth it.Some random pictures from wandering the streets.
Wonderful colours and textures. I loved the modern concrete buildings too.
Some more buildings in contrast.
And the last fabulous concrete façade. Opposite this was a great bookstore and I had it in my head that a great souvenir would be a few children's books. After all, with Mr E being Spanish our offspring will be able to read them, even if I can't! After spending some time in the store and with Mr E giving me a rough synopsis of each story, we settled on the following: Animales Chilenos (Chilean Animals) illustrated by Loreto Salinas. All these lovely photos are off Loreto's blog.
This is one of the pages, with animal, and a 'did you know?' fact and other information.
It's really stunning. And educational!
Next up, 'Gabriela, la Poeta Viajera' (Gabriel, the traveling poet), written by Alejandra Toro and illustrated by Isabel Hojas. Isabel has a lovely blog here.
The water colour illustrations are just divine in themselves, aside from the fact that they tell the story of the historical female poet, Gabriela Mistral. Gabriela, (1889 – 1957) was the pseudonym of Lucila de María del Perpetuo Socorro Godoy Alcayaga, (wow, now that's a name!) a Chilean poet, educator, diplomat, and feminist who was the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1945.
The third book I loved was also illustrated by Isabel Hojas.
'Lágrimas de Oro' (Tears of Gold), a classic Chilean tale retold by Luz Philippi. The illustrations are stunning; bold and graphic.
last, but not least, is 'La bella Griselda' (The beautiful Griselda), by Isol, otherwise known as Marisol Misenta, an illustrator, author of children's books, and singer.
Ok, here I need to admit that Isol is Argentinean, not Chilean. But as we were heading to Buenos Aires next, we figured it was nice to have something from there too.
And that's it for now, more of Chile tomorrow.

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