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The Lizard & the Sun/La Lagartija Y El Sol | Bilingual Folktale for Children - Alder & Alouette

The Lizard and the Sun / La Lagartija Y El Sol | A Bilingual Folktale for Children

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The Mexican folktale, The Lizard and the Sun / La Lagartija Y El Sol, written by Alma Flor Ada, is a sweet tale in bilingual format about why lizards lie in the sun.

Once, a long, long time ago, the sun disappeared from the sky. Everything was dark for many days. All the animals went to search for the sun in the rivers and lakes, through the fields and forests, but the sun was nowhere to be found. Little by little all the animals gave up, except for the faithful lizard.

Finally one day she found a strange glowing rock and discovered the sun fast asleep. But no one could persuade the sun to wake up. Then the emperor organized a great feast, with the finest dancers and musicians, so the sun would wake up and never fall asleep again. Since that day, all lizards love to lie in the sun, to remember the day when one of their own brought light and warmth back to the world.



  • Gold Medal, Folklore Category, NAPPA – National Parenting Publications Association



  • The Lizard and the Sun / La Lagartija Y El Sol
  • Written by Alma Flor Ada and Illustrated by Felipe Dávalos.
  • Published by Dragonfly Books, March 9, 1999.
  • Ages 3 to 7 years
  • 0.17" H x 10.66" L x 8.15" W (0.42 lbs) 48 pages
  • Softcover
  • Mexican Folktale, Bilingual (English and Spanish)


PRAISE FOR The Lizard and the Sun / La Lagartija Y El Sol

“Once in ancient Mexico, the sun disappeared. For days the anxious people wait for the sun to return, but it does not. When lizard discovers a rock lowing with an inner light, she tells the emperor and they awaken the sleeping sun; it returns to the sky, shedding light and warmth on all the earth. Ada retells this traditional tale with graceful language and read aloud rhythms, juxtaposing images of the tenacious, questing lizard against the darkness of jungle, marketplace, and palace. Dávalos paintings are rich with color and expression as the bright green lizard traverses the torchlit night in balanced compositions that spring to bright life with the discovery of the brilliant, sleeping sun. […]”

—The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s books. October, 1997


“[…] The Cuban-born author says she hopes the dual-language format will help awaken children’s interest in acquiring a second language, and certainly it should arouse their curiosity. Artist Felipe Dávalos, originally from Mexico, has created a colorful, exotic landscape full of pyramids, cacti and ancient Mexican sculpture and design. His illustrations beautifully capture the glowing changes as the sun shines once more. “The Lizard and the Sun” is a sumptuous introduction to the land of the Aztec and Maya.”

—Bookpage. October, 1997