Magic Dogs of the Volcanoes/Los perros magicos de los volcanos

By Manlio Argueta

57 ratings - 3.96* vote

A contemporary folktale about magical dogs that live on the volcanoes of El Salvador and protect the people from many dangers.

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Book details

Paperback, 32 pages
June 3rd 1997 by Children's Book Press

(first published December 1st 1990)

Original Title
Magic Dogs of the Volcanoes/Los perros magicos de los volcanos
0892391294 (ISBN13: 9780892391295)
Edition Language

Community Reviews

Kennia Torres

This is Spanish/English book about the Cadejos (magic dogs) that come out at night around the volcanoes in El salvador and they protect the people from many dangers. The people of the villages love the cadejos because they protect them. The dogs are considered great great grandchildren of the volcanoes. For example, the dogs can turn into wind to sweep an endangered child if there is a snake or a hole that is going to harm the child. This story shows how good can always win against evil. The story has great vibrant colors in the illustrations and it is read in english than right below the english paragraph there is the spanish translation! This book is great for spanish speaking students in elementary to teach them english of teach english speaking children spanish. It is an amazing book! very intriguing and sweet! Shows children how they should always be caring for others.

Kendrick Goodman

This book written by Manlio Argueta, provides a unique touch that not may other international books do. While the english version of the book is written towards the top of the page, the translation in it is in Spanish. this provides children as easy way to compare the two language and have ELL readers be comfortable with the book, if they come from a Spanish background. This book is about the dogs that live in the village of El Salvador and how they are loved by most on the volcano. However, 13 men are not fans of the dogs and plan on killing them. Throughout the book they are trying to do so, but the volcano and people help the dogs and everything ends in a happy ending. I would recommend this for a fourth grade class due to the pictures of guns and implied violence. However, I think this a good international book to show and read a loud.

Diana D

In this beautifully illustrated and intricate book, Magic Dogs of the Volcanoes, or Cadejos as they are know in El Salvador, tells the story about the mythical creatures, Cadejos (dogs) that live up in the volcanoes of El Salvador. The people of El Salvador honor these animals and credit them with protecting them when they are in trouble by turning into a gust of wind to move them away from the danger. I was mesmerized by all the illustrations and detail that was put into this book, I would love to use this as a read aloud in a classroom.

Jhoel Centeno

4/5*Not much to review about. It’s a beautiful folklore about the people of El Salvador and how they are protected by magical dogs. Especially when someone evil comes to destroy the peace and tradition.

Rhea D'Souza

Beautifully illustrated , and a lovely way to tell a folktale !


This international children’s book was written by a native of El Salvador, Manlio Argueta. This book spoke to me through the use of extraordinary original and native pictures and the fact that it is based on traditional Salvadorian folk tales about cadejos, magic dogs. The cadejos protect the people of El Salvador from danger and misfortune and it is believed that the magic dogs are great-great-grandchildren of the mountains. The illustrations by Simmons do a wonderful job capturing the everyday life of a traditional family and style of El Salvador. Families are cooking and talking together and men are playing guitars as the cadejos bustle around. The dogs possess magic powers that sweep children out of the harm of snakes and carry weak old men to shade. However, the cadejos were not loved by everyone. Don Tonio and his 13 brothers own the land and think the dogs make the people lazy. So they called on the Lead Soldiers to hunt down the dogs. I think this native tale is a wonderful international book for children because it provides them with a fun, interesting story with a protagonist and antagonist as well as introducing them into a culture different than their own. The story is told both in the translated language of English and the original language in Spanish which is great for bilingual learners and to introduce a better sense of culture to the classroom environment. Also, the author provided pronunciation of native words so that the teacher or reader would know how to correctly pronounce the words. This is important to give children the best information possible.


Age: 4-6

Genre: Online book retrieved from;
bilingual picture book; folktale

Diversity: Ethnicity, belief, language

Illustrations: Bold and brightly colored images complement the text.

Personal Response: I enjoyed both the story and the illustrations. I especially liked that the story is based on traditional Salvadorian folk tales about cadejos, magic dogs.

Curriculum: This would be a great book for an English/Spanish bilingual storytime. It could also be used in kindergarten through second grade as a part of a unit exploring different cultures and folk tales.

Bryan Wilson

This tale from El Salvador is a delightful story about the mysterious cadejos (coyotes/dogs) that sometimes appear at night around the dormant volcanoes. The illustrations are vibrant and magnificent, evoking concert posters from Haight-Ashbury circa 1967. I would recommend adding this to a survey of traditional literature from the Americas. Another plus, this book is in both English and Spanish.


Read this book from the ICDL website. The story is a good lesson about greed and over coming evil. I liked the bilingual aspect of the text, both English and Spanish. I'll be letting the teacher know about this site and placing it on the library web page.