Originally a native of Quebec, Juan Sauvageau came to the US to pursue his post-graduate studies. He earned an MA in Education and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and went on to teach at universities in Mexico, France, Spain, Texas and Idaho.
Sauvageau was deeply attracted to Mexican folklore and culture. In the late 70s he spent three years going from ranch to ranch on both sides of the Rio Grande, interviewing people and collecting folk tales. He then published the stories in his bilingual book Stories That Must Not Die, which would go on to see more than 20 printings. The collection has been used extensively in schools in the US and Mexico.
In 2012, National Educational Systems began releasing the stories individually to facilitate their use with struggling English language learners. The titles have all new illustrations done by modern Texas artists. I am serving as series editor, designing the books and managing the new blend of Sauvageau’s engaging stories and the creative vision of artists inspired by his work.
Here are the titles available so far. Overlooked Books is the exclusive distributor of hard-bound versions of the stories (the soft-cover books are available through Amazon as well):
- All or Nothing: Todo o nada (illustrated by Terry Widener)
- The Mysterious Mirror: El espejo misterioso (illustrated by Terry Widener)
- The Sobbing Woman: La Llorona (illustrated by Xavier Garza)
- The Poor Little Naked Bird: El pobre pajarito pelón (illustrated by Leslie Widener)
- The Royal Beggar: El pordiosero de sangre real (illustrated by Leslie Widener)
- The Handsome Stranger: El guapo extranjero (illustrated by Xavier Garza)
- The Cuddling Ghost: Un cariño de espanto (illustrated by Mark Gregory Mitchell, Maria Koch, H.T. Yao, Charisse Melliza, and Cynthia Iannaccone)
- A Watch from the World Beyond: Un reloj del más allá (illustrated by Jessica P. González)
- The Lady in Black: La dama de vestido negro (illustrated by Jessica P. González)
- The Devil’s Lagoon: La laguna del diablo (illustrated by Jessica P. González)
- Not Only One but Two Devils: No sólo uno sino dos diablos (illustrated by C.C. Bowles)
- Dancing with a Ghost: Bailando con un fantasma (illustrated by Nicol Bowles)
- In Love with a Dead Man: Enamorada de un muerto (illustrated by Marco A. Sánchez)
- The Devil Takes a Bride: El diablo se casa (illustrated by Noé Vela)
- A Devil in the Well: Un diablo en la noria (illustrated by Noé Vela)
- The Jealous Barn Owl: La lechuza envidiosa (illustrated by Noé Vela)
Hello my name is Roger Sauvageau, I am the son of the late Jaun Sauvageau. I would ask that someone please contact me as soon as possible. I love what it is that you are doing but I would like to speak to someone about the direction that my fathers stories and poetry as well as his novels are going….I was in contact briefly with the man who was publishing his stories and I informed him of my dads illness. He passed away on Oct 4 2011…and I have heard nothing from anyone….so it was nice to read your blog thank you.
Roger, it is so nice to hear from you! I am very sorry to hear of your father’s death: he was a great writer and tireless advocate for our young people. I will shoot you an email soon.
Looking forStories That Must Not Die (English and Spanish Edition)Juan Sauvageau-Pro the full book. Do u know where I can purchase at a decent price……. I’m a longtime fan n a single mom
Yes! Overlooked Books carries that title. You can contact them at (888) 463-1169 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Mr. Sauvageau: My name is Deborah Garza. First off I want to give you my condolences on the loss of your father. I went through all of my school years listening to and reading his stories. For me they were up there with Edgar Allen Poe. And they were from my homeland. (I’m from Brownsville)
I have been looking all over for someone to speak to about his work. He seemed to disappear from the face of the earth. I am currently working on a middle school 1 act play based on one of his pieces. I know La Llorona is folklore that is pretty popular and has been passed on for a couple of hundred years. I wonder if we could talk. Thank you for your time. Deborah Garza
Are you available to be a guest speaker on March 7, 2019?
Domingo, yes! Email me at email@example.com
My name is Michael L Garcia jr and I wanted to speak to a family member about your father’s work. I grew up reading his books and I would love to try and create a screenplay based on his work. But I can’t seem to find any information or who I can contact that represents his work. If you’d be so kind to send me a message or advice on how to get permission, please let me know. Thanks Mike
I grew up reading these stories whose books were provided by our elementary. i loved them so much. i recall my aunt sitting us around her on the floor telling us similar stories as she gently rocked on her rocking chair. i have to admit I have quite a few stories of my own. i would so love to collect these books once again. thanks so much for bringing such fond memories back.
Norma, you’re quite welcome. It’s a delight to keep the old tales alive!
I bought all his books. they were great. my students loved them especially when I’d read them around Halloween. unfortunately, I retired five years early due to an illness. when I returned over a year later, many personal items including those wonderful books were missing.
Indeed! Luckily for everyone, the books have been rereleased (both the newly illustrated versions and the original ones). A whole new generation gets to enjoy them now.
How does a person get the new release?
You can find it online at Amazon.
Hi Roger, I am part of a Facebook page called Rio Grande Valley, Texas History. Last night I posted the cover of your father’s book, Stories That Must Not Die and asked if anyone remembered the book and/or the stories. The responses have been overwhelming. Your father’s book made an impact on so many people and is still remembered today. I am so sorry to hear about your father’s passing.
I had my copy for about 50 years. My grandson and I read it often and never gets old. Will buy additional copies as gifts