Gifts from Beyond Machu Picchu

Exactly three years ago, Thrums Books released Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu. It was such a pleasure working with the author, Libby Van Buskirk, who had deeply researched the folk tales and folkways of the Peruvian highlands during her many years of travel in that country. And the illustrator, Angel Callañaupa Alvarez, is a Quechua Indian and self-taught artist who painted his own life in response to the stories–it’s rare for text and illustration to come together so seamlessly.

Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu

I was taking another look at the book the other day as I started plotting out my holiday shopping lists. My grandchildren all have their own copies, and one even reviewed the book for this blog–a rare six-year-old’s take on stories from another culture. But then I stopped in the Open Studio sale of my sister company, ClothRoads, and was stopped in my tracks by the collection of dolls from the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. Dressed in beautifully and authentically detailed costumes of Peruvian villages: Chinchero, Chahuaytire, Patabamba, and more.  The dolls were like the book come to life. (Well, not life per se. Doll life.)



It was so refreshing to see these lovely handmade charmers with their handwoven skirts and mantas and hats and jackets, and to re-read the stories that reflect a real-life view of childhood in the Andes–and the strength and courage and imagination instilled in children growing up in that environment. If you’re shopping for young ones, put this idea on your list: doll and book. Doll as an heirloom to be cherished, not doll to have her hair curled and whatnot. Both available at ClothRoads.

from Beyond The Stones
from “The Bear Prince” in Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu. Ilustration by Angel Callañaupa Alvarez


P.S. If you don’t have kids to shop for, consider donating to Chocolatadas, sponsored by Andean Textile Arts. This lovely program goes to each of ten Peruvian highland villages and gives each child a nourishing chocolate/oatmeal drink , a toy, and a bit of holiday entertainment. These are rare treats for these children. You can donate at Andean Textile Arts, knowing that every penny will go directly to the cause.


And other Thrums Books make great gifts, too! Check them out.

2 thoughts on “Gifts from Beyond Machu Picchu

  1. Elizabeth VanBuskirk says:

    Thank you, Linda.
    What a pleasure it was to work with you. I love your vision and creativity. All of your books are stunning, you have such a fine eye for good book design; I’m very proud of “Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Folk Tales and Stories of Inca life” with paintings of Inca life today by Angel Callañaupa. I have worked to spread the word of the richness of this unique culture by giving talks in schools and universities, libraries etc. and on the website “Descendants of the Incas” .(You can tell by the simple address that it was one of the first websites on the internet. But it needs work to update it now. If any knowledgable web person interested in education would like to volunteer in helping in that effort, I would be delighted. The site has been very useful to teachers and I’d hate to let that opportunity go. Kids and adults seem so delighted to learn about Inca families today because we learn so little in school about our southern neighbors! The stories in the book focus on traditional life and beliefs unfamiliar to us but are so worthwhile–especially practices that celebrate nature and the land, Pacha Mama.

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