The Princess and the Warrior 

(Winner of the Pura Belpré Award)

Written and Illustrated by: Duncan Tonatiuh

Abrams Book for Young Readers 2016

Ages: 3-7

Region: Mexico, North America

The Princess and the Warrior details the love story of, a thoughtful and caring princess, Izta, and a brave military man Popoca.

Although Itza was coveted by suitable men, in her fathers eyes, they were not what Izta wanted. She was not impressed with their lavish gifts. Izta instead fell in love with a brave and caring warrior Popoca, for he offered her something much more valuable than any quetzal feathers or turquoise necklace could, a promise to be by her side, and love her forever.

The love match is not enough for Itza’s father, at least not at first. In order for Popoca to prove himself worthy he must defeat the emperor’s enemy, Jaguar claw, a tlatoani, of a nearby kingdom. Although Popoca bravely takes on the mission, he is unaware of Jaguar Claws cunning. Will Popoca be able to fulfill his promise to Itza or will Jaguar Claw prevent Popoca from uniting with his true love, Itza?

Discussion Questions:

Why do you think Popoca needed to prove himself worthy to the Emperor?

Do Itza and Popoca end up together? Why or why? Explain your answer.

Vocabtlatoani [nahua] – ruler, king

Additional Resources:

More books by Duncan Tonatiuh

The Author’s Website

The Legend of Popocatepetl & Iztaccíhuatl: A Love Story


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