Under the Cottonwood Tree or El Susto de la Curandera by Paul Meyer and Carlos Meyer, illustrated by Margaret Hardy was a fascinating and beautiful tale about a family and how the love they share can overcome any amount of hurt, anger, and hate. Coupled with stunning and exquisitely colored artwork, this is definitely a book worth having on your shelf. I had a lot of fun reading this graphic novel, particularly adoring the strange and exciting, if not somewhat scary, adventure that the children in this family find themselves on.
The story begins with two brothers and a curandera, a word which means healer. When the youngest and most reckless of the two refers to the old woman as a bruja, or a witch, and steals from her. The magical food that he snatched quickly turns him into a young calf and thus the young children of this story find themselves in the troublesome circumstance of trying to figure out how to return the young boy to his natural state.
This story was a lot darker than I really expected it to be, but enjoyable all the same. There’s truly a great message behind it and the characters really capture your attention right from the start. The tale, itself, is fantastic as well. As a reader, you definitely find yourself growing more and more invested in the plights of all involved the further you get into the story.
I was especially enamored by the excellent and gorgeous illustrations that filled this graphic novel. I’ll be honest, they did a supreme job at selling the book for me. I couldn’t turn a single page without admiring every aspect of the wonderful artwork. Not only does it perfectly portray the personalities of each of the characters, it does so often with them turned into animals.
All in all, this is a fantastic graphic novel that everyone should be eager to add to their shelves.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.