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Nina Bonita: A Story (Children's Books from Around the World) Paperback – March 1, 2001

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-A young girl living in a coastal South American town has a blacker skin tone than any of her family members or playmates. A white rabbit, entranced by the girl's skin, "dark and glossy, just like a panther in the rain," implores her to reveal her beauty secrets. Nina Bonita, who doesn't really know why she's so dark, gives the rabbit three ridiculous possibilities, which he duplicates with disappointing results. Persistently, the rabbit asks for a fourth explanation, and the final one is provided by the girl's mother-the child is the same color as her black grandmother. The white rabbit, satisfied with a truthful answer, proceeds to marry a black rabbit and produce a plethora of children of various hues. With its unique setting and engaging characterizations, this gentle and entertaining exploration of mixed-race families is appealing. Soft, colored-pencil illustrations depict Nina Bonita and the rabbit in the larger context of a diverse village where people live comfortably despite superficial differences. This translation has retained the rhythmic cadences of the Spanish language, making it suitable for reading aloud.
Tana Elias, Meadowridge Branch Library, Madison, WI
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"This enchanting story of diversity, in which a very white rabbit falls in love with a very dark girl and longs to discover the secret for being so dark and pretty, juxtaposes soft illustrations with simple text. It is perfect for reading alone or for group sharing." --- Publishers Weekly

"Soft, colored-pencil illustrations depict Nina Bonita and the rabbit in the larger context of a diverse village where people live comfortably despite superficial differences. This translation has retained the rhythmic cadences of the Spanish language, making it suitable for reading aloud." --- School Library Journal

"The softly-colored illustrations of Nina s seaside life give subtle nuance to a story that explains color most imaginatively and with great wisdom, a simple lesson easily learned about differences and acceptance." --- Curled Up Kids
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: Children's Books from Around the World
  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Pub (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929132115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929132119
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 9 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,726,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Victoria G. Tullman on January 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
I loved this book! We're a bilingual family and when we first read this story in Spanish, my children and I laughed and squealed with delight. The language is uniquely latin, and the author uses the words pu-pu for poop, and pipi for pee which made us really laugh.
But the sweetness of the story is really how the little white bunny fell in love with the little black girls' striking beauty, and determined that if he himself could not look like her, then he would seek to marry a black and beautiful rabbit, and perhaps have children who were beautiful and dark.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
A beautiful, dark-skinned little girl who lives near the seaside is the inspiration for this utterly charming tale about differences and the acceptance of others. Nina Bonita has "eyes like two shiny black olives", hair that is pitch black and curly and skin that is "dark and glossy like a panther in the rain". When her mother arranges her hair into tiny braids, she looks like a princess of Africa or "a fairy from the Kingdom of the Moon".

One day a white rabbit, with pink ears and dark red eyes, inquires, "What is your secret? What makes your skin so dark and pretty?" Since she doesn't know what to say, Nina Bonita answers that when she was a baby, black ink spilled on her. The rabbit pours ink all over himself and, sure enough, he is black... for a while. Then the rain washes all the ink away. Nina says, "I drank lots of hot coffee" and the rabbit drinks so much coffee that he can't go to sleep, but he doesn't turn black; "I ate lots of blackberries", so he does, but he doesn't turn black, although he does get a terrible stomach ache. The rabbit is very discouraged, at a loss of an explanation until Nina Bonita's mother exclaims, "She looks just like her grandmother!"

The riddle is solved! The rabbit suddenly understands that if he marries a black rabbit, they will have bunnies in all shades of black, white and gray. And that's exactly what happens, baby bunnies in every shade. The softly-colored illustrations of Nina's seaside life reflect the subtle nuances of a tale of color and differences, imaginatively written with great wisdom, a simple lesson about acceptance. Luan Gaines/2006.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Huber on March 15, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very sweet story.. beautifully illustrated! As a bilingual mom of a 5 month-old baby, I enjoyed reading this book. Although the title suggest a book in Spanish, it's actually beautifully written in English.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Good story. Great illustrations. The two parts I don't like are: (1) One of the things she tells the bunny is that she drank a lot of black coffee. So the bunny drinks so much that he can't sleep and "spent the whole night going to the bathroom". The illustration shows him sitting on a kitchen counter looking miserable in a big puddle of pee. (2) Another thing she tells the bunny is that she ate lots of blackberries. So the bunny ate until he was so full he couldn't move, his belly hurt, and he "spent the whole night going to the bathroom". The illustration shows him laying in the street market where he bought the basket of berries with a scattering of bunny poo all around him.
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