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I, Juan de Pareja

The following collection of thematically related readings is available in I, Juan de Pareja and Related Readings in McDougal Littell's Literature Connections series.

"How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird" by Jacques Prévert, translated by Paul Dehn
(from The Fern on the Rock: Collected Poems 1935-1965, © 1965)
Summary: The speaker of this poem gives detailed instructions in painting that become increasingly surreal.

"Mi Maestro" by Ana Castillo
(from Zero Makes Me Hungry, © 1975)
Summary: In this poem, the speaker expresses the desire to learn as much from a mentor as possible.

"The Magical Horse" by Laurence Yep
(from Tongues of Jade, © 1991)
Summary: In this tale, a poor painter puts all his energy into creating a masterpiece so true to life that it literally jumps off the canvas.

Excerpt from The American Eye by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, © 1995
Summary: African-American artist Romare Bearden is the subject of this biography. After a long struggle to survive as an artist, Bearden wins fame with collages that reflect his childhood in Harlem and his deep appreciation of jazz.

"The Jade Stone" by Caryn Yacowitz, adapted by Aaron Shepherd
(from Stories on Stage: Scripts for Reader's Theatre, © 1993)
Summary: In this Reader's Theater adaptation of a folktale, a stone cutter risks punishment by listening to a stone instead of to an emperor's command as he creates a sculpture.

"A Work of Art" by Margaret Mahy
(from The Door in the Air and Other Stories, © 1976)
Summary: What would make a birthday cake worthy of display in an art gallery? There are elements of fantasy in this story about a loving mother's creation.

"To Look at Any Thing" by John Moffitt
(from The Living Seed, © 1961)
Summary: The speaker of this poem links knowledge to close observation.

"Aunt Zurletha" by Ruby Dee
(from My One Good Nerve, © 1987)
Summary: This story reveals the life of a maid who has devoted her life to others--through the eyes of the only one who loves her, a young girl who calls her "Aunt" Zurletha.