El Silbón de Venezuela, by Craig Klein Dexemple
El Silbón (The Whistler) is an intriguing novelette that first-year Spanish students can easily grasp. Written in the present tense, the book is based on a list of 650-plus nouns, verbs, adjectives, and common phrases covered in most beginning Spanish courses.El Silbón centers on Henry, a boy from small-town Minnesota with a charming fascination with all things cowboy. Unable to realize his dream of becoming a cowboy, Henry is despondent until he meets Ricardo, a schoolmate from the Venezuelan llanos—a great grassy plain extending from Venezuela and Colombia. Invited to visit Ricardo’s home in the llanos, Henry encounters a strange world with different foods like plantain bananas; different animals like capibaras, the world’s largest rodent; and the llaneros, the tough, hardy cowboys of the Venezuelan plains. But Henry’s innocent encounter with the exotic ends one night when he sees El Silbón, a tall, gaunt creature and one of the most feared ghosts in Venezuelan folklore.