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Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale Hardcover – September 1, 2007
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"Austin's cockroach dwelling is a desirable piece of real estate, with its stairs made of gum wrappers, its wrought-plastic comb railing, and its exclusive mid-Havana address (it's a lamppost). A friendly sprinkling of Spanish words, warmly drawn relationships and a lot of puns all widen the audience for this spirited story." --Publishers Weekly
"Deedy's masterful retelling of this Latino folktale has a rollicking voice imbued with sly tongue-in-cheek humor. The acrylic illustrations, in a hyper-realistic style reminiscent of a softer William Joyce, are rendered in a vivid tropical palette. Shifting perspectives and points of view add vitality to the compositions, and facial expressions reveal both emotions and character traits. A scattering of Spanish words adds zest to this fine read-aloud." --Booklist
"Deedy's text sparkles with sly humor...The stunning acrylic illustrations are full of color, light, and humor...This wonderful book will delight children." --School Library Journal
"Beauty and charm are not what we expect in a cockroach, but author Carmen Agra Deedy creates a sweet maiden in her re-telling of a Cuban folk tale about selecting a husband." --The Sacramento Bee
"...lively and funny...Fun to compare with other versions, this telling has magic all its own." --Kirkus
"The humorous use of language, Cuban setting, and beautiful illustrations add to the book's cultural authenticity." --REFORMA Newsletter
"The skillfully crafted acrylic illustrations capture the island's ambience... The text flows easily." --Criticas, * STARRED REVIEW *
"...a spicy original retelling...attractive and culturally evocative acrylic illustrations are an effective match with the hilarious story." --Book Links
"...gorgeously illustrated..." --Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Audio books have also gained acceptance as a type of reading, thanks to great recordings like 'Martina the Beautiful Cockroach,' written and narrated by Carmen Agra Deedy..." --Jon Scieszka, Ambassador for Children's Literature
About the Author
They settled in Decatur, Georgia, where they coped with the separation from loved ones still in Cuba and acclimated to cultural differences. The Agra family ultimately succeeded in starting over and rebuilding their lives. While Deedy s storytelling reflects these themes of separation and family, she is better known for her razor-sharp wit and light, entertaining style. Also essential to Deedy s experience are her strong sense of perseverance and her dual heritage, drawn from growing up steeped in the riches of both Latin American and Southern culture. As a professional storyteller for many years Deedy has shared her stories with hundreds of thousands of children and adults at festivals, schools, conferences, theaters and museums across the nation and the ocean. She has performed at the Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival at Donat s Castle in Wales; the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC; the Disney Institute in Orlando, FL; the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN; at the New Victory Theater on Broadway; and at the 2001, 2002 (where Deedy gave the Friday night keynote), and 2003 National Book Festivals in Washington, D.C. Her stories have also aired on National Public Radio s Weekend All Things Considered.
Top Customer Reviews
I bought this as my daughter's "First day of First grade" gift ---- okay I was looking for an excuse to buy it! :) Inside I wrote just how much I loved her and how much we enjoyed this book ---- it truly is going to be a classic one day that she will read (I hope) with her little girl.
So my FIVE STARS but . . . you have to buy it with the CD!
Deedy often pairs important words with their Spanish counterparts in a casual and friendly way which teaches Spanish words without appearing to teach at all. She makes great use of repetition in the song sung to Martina by the suitors. She also uses humor and occasional puns.
Though cartoon-like, in that these are anthropomorphic animals and insects, Austin has carefully and delicately crafted both the characters and the scenes, so that it often appears as lovely as a traditional painting. He has carried the humor of the story into the illustrations, especially in the objects used in the cockroach household: cigar boxes for the grand staircase, for example. He uses rich, full colors but soft lines. The perspective changes often, though not drastically. He makes use of a variety of techniques; the illustrations are at times in frames, occasionally they cross the gutter into both pages, and sometimes they are straight-forward one page illustrations. It is a pleasure to view.
This is a truly amusing book and sounds lovely when read aloud. This age group will have no connection with the idea of finding a proper husband, but should enjoy the humor. It is a truly enjoyable book overall.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of my most treasured book, absolutely beautiful.
Prompt delivery and in wonderful condition.
I love it❤️
Such a cute book. Purchased for 2 year old who loves to sit and listen to books.Published 3 months ago by ScubaDad
Before reading this book to your child, I recommend the
*Tooth Fairy and Ratoncito Perez* or *The Tooth Fairy Meets El Raton Perez*
Ratoncito Perez (Little... Read more
My wife purchased this for her first-grade classroom. She told me she loved it.Published 7 months ago by Gene D.
Tho this was a used item, it was in great shape! Love the book Love the story!Published 7 months ago by Linda L. Dodd
This is really a fun story about following the sagacious advice of a grandmother. I can't wait to give it as a Christmas gift.Published 8 months ago by LMH