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Folk Wisdom of Mexico: Proverbios y Dichos Mexicanos    by Jeff M. Sellers & Annika Maria Nelson order for
Folk Wisdom of Mexico
by Jeff M. Sellers
Order:  USA  Can
Chronicle, 2005 (1994)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In a Foreword, Gary Soto tells us that 'The Mexican proverb is the verbal property of common people ... It is amusement and it is wisdom itself.' He says that these 'sharp and distilled truths' reunite us with our ancestors. Each of the proverbs in Jeff Sellers' Folk Wisdom of Mexico is presented in the original Spanish with an English translation, while Annika Maria Nelson's illustrations provide a colorful Mexican context.

I rather like the irony of 'God gives money to the wealthy because without it, they would starve to death' and 'The fly atop the ox declares: "We are plowing this field!' (I have a cartoon involving two Irishmen and a barrel that makes the same point). Some take mulling over, such as 'The brave one lives as long as the coward lets him', while others are hopeful like 'Truth suffers but never perishes' and 'Dreaming is the food of the poor.' There's sage advice in 'Stupidity closes the doors of kindness' and truth in 'All time spent angry is time lost being happy.'

Folk Wisdom of Mexico is a delightful little book of proverbs presented bilingually (in Spanish and English).

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