Celebrated author Pat Mora makes magic with Maria Paints the Hills. Maria is an only child who lives with her widowed mother, a seamstress, in Santa Fe in the early twentieth century. Maria, an imaginative child who is enchanted by the world around her, spends much of her time alone and often makes playmates by drawing them or making them out of mud with colored leaves for their hair. As her mother sews, Maria draws the world around her chile vendors, the feast of San Isidro, preparing for the fiesta, flying kites, and picking herbs -- to entertain herself and her mother. When her mother gives her a set of paints, it is the dawning of Maria's creative self as she paints the hills around her beloved town.Illustrated with wonderfully ingenuous paintings of scenes of Santa Fe in the early part of the twentieth century, this picture book's story of a girl becoming an artist is based on the childhood memories and paintings of Maria Hesch.