MARTINA THE BEAUTIFUL COCKROACH by Carmen Agra Deedy

MARTINA THE BEAUTIFUL COCKROACH

A Cuban Folktale
adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Available in both English and Spanish (ISBN: 978-1-56145-425-9) editions, this new version of a story told in Cuba, Puerto Rico and other Latin-American countries is lively and funny, without the sad ending found in some tellings. With the help of her wise grandmother, Martina tries to find the best husband from among the suitors lining up to marry her. With the traditional “Coffee Test”—she spills hot coffee on their shoes to see their response—she is able to see that none of the would-be husbands—the haughty rooster, the odorous pig and the cockroach-eating lizard—are good choices, judging by their angry reactions. Finally, Abuela (grandmother) shows her a humble mouse, Pérez, who has a sweet voice. Martina falls in love at once, although she is surprised when he turns the tables and uses the Coffee Test on her, as instructed by his Cuban grandmother. The acrylic paintings have a dreamy, surrealistic quality, and elements of Cuban housewares and products can be found in Martina’s home in a streetlamp. Fun to compare with other versions, this telling has magic all its own. (Folklore. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-56145-399-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Peachtree
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2007




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