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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Santiago is a very strong bull; he’s actually a Taurus bull which, like the Taurus constellation in the skies, is known for its kindness, generosity, trustworthiness, determination, hardworking ethics, and independence, but it’s also strong, stubborn, loyal and patient. Santiago is all of those things, but the villagers marvel at his great strength: he can pull a tall tree right out of the ground! When Santiago hears of a great treasure to be found in a nearby cave, he is determined to find it, even though the villagers think it’s a foolish quest. Determination leads him to a buried cave where a fearsome giant lives, but determination also pushes Santiago forward: he will find the treasure, giant or not.
Charis Papalas’s picture book story, The Tale of Santiago the Strong Bull: Taurus – the Zodiac Tales, weaves a compelling story that parallels the ancient Greeks' belief in the signs of the Zodiac and the infinite power of storytelling. This is the second book in the Zodiac Tales series. The plot follows Santiago, a strong bull, as he works, learns of the buried treasure, and pursues his dream to find the treasure. Santiago is a creature of habit and likes to do things his way and the same way each day: early to bed, early to rise, eat, do his chores, and, yes, follow his dream of finding the treasure. The language is simple so a young reader can easily follow along. The illustrations are spectacular and really make this story special. Beautifully told and presented.