The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Here is the story of a princess and her many wealthy and powerful suitors. Izta forsakes them all because she loves the brave warrior Popoca who has offered to stay by her side forever. This creation myth from Mexico explains how the beautiful and majestic volcanos that stand over Mexico City came into existence. A legendary story told by a legendary voice in literature. Ages 4 and up.

— Brein


Award-winning creator Duncan Tonatiuh brings a cherished Mexican legend to life
A Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book and ALA/ALSC Notable Children's Book!
Izta was the most beautiful princess in the land, and suitors traveled from far and wide to woo her. Even though she was the daughter of the emperor, Izta had no desire to marry a man of wealth and power. Instead, she fell in love with Popoca, a brave warrior who fought in her father’s army—and a man who did not offer her riches but a promise to stay by her side forever.
The emperor did not want his daughter to marry a mere warrior, but he recognized Popoca’s bravery. He offered Popoca a deal: If the warrior could defeat their enemy, Jaguar Claw, then the emperor would permit Popoca and Izta to wed. But Jaguar Claw had a plan to thwart the warrior. Would all be lost?
Today two majestic volcanoes—Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl—stand overlooking Mexico City. They have been admired and revered for countless generations, and have formed the basis of many origin and creation myths. In The Princess and the Warrior, award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh retells one of Mexico’s cherished legends.

About the Author

Duncan Tonatiuh (toh-nah-tee-YOU) is an award-winning author-illustrator whose numerous accolades include the Sibert Medal and the Pura Belpré Award. Duncan is both Mexican and American. His artwork is inspired by Mesoamerican art. His aim is to create images and stories that honor the past, but are relevant to today’s people, especially children. He grew up in and currently lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he celebrates Día de Muertos with his wife and children every year. Learn more at

Praise For…

"Using his trademark digital collage style, the author crafts brutally stunning scenes full of sharp angles using a palette of earthy, evocative colors. The text pops with incisive purpose, making every action feel monumental... Equal parts melancholic and transcendent—a genuine triumph."
— Kirkus

"The appealing story, the powerful illustrations, and the celebration of the Aztec culture make this a sure thing for those looking for a story, while an extensive author’s note goes a step beyond, adding to the impact of the tale with a great deal of historical and cultural information."
— Booklist

"Tonatiuh’s storytelling grows more assured with each title; this may be his best yet."
— The Horn Book

"A skillfully crafted recounting of a somber tale of love and devotion."
— Publishers Weekly

"Award-winning author/illustrator Tonatiuh successfully retells this ancient tale using his distinctive and artistic illustrations with spare but effective text... Use this Aztec legend to inspire readers while teaching a bit about dramatic irony; a first purchase for all folklore collections."
— School Library Journal

"There is a solemn tone to the simple storytelling, which simultaneously evokes the antiquity of the tale and makes it accessible to younger independent readers."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Product Details
ISBN: 9781419721304
ISBN-10: 1419721305
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016
Pages: 40
Language: English