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Cover image for Martina, the beautiful cockroach : a Cuban folktale
Format:
Title:
Martina, the beautiful cockroach : a Cuban folktale
ISBN:
9781561453993

9781561454686
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Atlanta, GA : Peachtree, ©2007.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 x 30 cm
Contents:
Unabridged. -Compact disc. -Book in English with some Spanish words, but story is available in Spanish on audio disc. -- Contents:Martina storytelling performance -- Martina, the beautiful cockroach -- Martina, una cucarachita muy linda. -Storytelling and narrations by the author. -In this humorous retelling of a Cuban folktale, a cockroach interviews her suitors in order to decide whom to marry. -Pura Belpre Honor.
Summary:
Product Description: Carmen Agra Deedy delivers a deliciously inventive Cuban version of the beloved Martina folktale, complete with a dash of cafe cubano. Martina the beautiful cockroach doesn't know coffee beans about love and marriage. That's where her Cuban family comes in. While some of the Cucarachas offer her gifts to make her more attractive, only Abuela, her grandmother, gives her something really useful: un consejo increible, some shocking advice. You want me to do what? Martina gasps. At first, Martina is skeptical of her Abuela's unorthodox suggestion, but when suitor after suitor fails The Coffee Test, she wonders if a little green cockroach can ever find true love. Soon, only the gardener Perez, a tiny brown mouse, is left. But what will happen when Martina offers him cafe cubano? After reading this sweet and witty retelling of the Cuban folktale, you'll never look at a cockroach the same way again.
Reading Level:
720 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader Interest level: 3.1 Title point level: 0.5.

Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 0.5 116505.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.7 2 Quiz: 41834.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Status
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398.2 Deedy
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+ PRESCHOOL - DEEDY
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J PICTURE BOOK - DEEDY
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J 398.2 DEEDY 2007
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JNF 398.2 DEEDY
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E DEE
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Martina the beautiful cockroach doesn't know coffee beans about love and marriage.
That's where her Cuban family comes in. While some of the Cucarachas offer her gifts to make her more attractive, only Abuela, her grandmother, gives her something really useful: un consejo increíble, some shocking advice. At first, Martina is skeptical of her Abuela's unorthodox suggestion, but when suitor after suitor fails the Coffee Test, she wonders if a little green cockroach can ever find true love. Soon, only the gardener Pérez, a tiny brown mouse, is left. But what will happen when Martina offers him café cubano?
After reading this sweet and witty retelling of the Cuban folktale, readers will never look at a cockroach the same way again. Also in Spanish and audio, Carmen Agra Deedy delivers a deliciously inventive Cuban version of the beloved Martina folktale, complete with a dash of café cubano.


Author Notes

Award-winning children's book author and storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy was born in Havana, Cuba in 1960. She immigrated to the United States with her family in 1963 and grew up in Decatur, Georgia.

Deedy has written Agatha's Feather Bed: Not Just Another Wild Goose Story, Tree Man, The Library Dragon, The Last Dance, The Secret of Old Zeb, The Yellow Star, and Fourteen Cows for America. She has also contributed to National Public Radio's Weekend All Things Considered and Latino USA.

Deedy has performed as a storyteller at venues including the Disney Institute, the New Victory Theater, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Kennedy Center and also at the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, the National Storytelling Festival, the Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival, the National Book Festival, schools, conferences, and museums.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

The lovely Martina, ready to marry, follows her grandmother's peculiar advice-to spill coffee on her suitors' shoes and watch their reactions. The rooster proves too cocky, the pig too boorish, and the lizard too cold-blooded. Where does an attractive young cockroach turn next? To Perez, the mouse, whose unusual response wins Martina's affection. Color-drenched paintings transport readers to the tropics as Deedy, a consummate storyteller, brings out all the clever humor, in both English and Spanish, with unique voices for each hilarious creature in this 2009 Odyssey Honor title. Standard: Students will be able to recognize various folk tales and the cultures they represent. Learning Activity: Students can practice vocabulary words from the story in both English and Spanish and be able to define and use each word in a sentence. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

In retelling a popular Cuban folktale, Deedy (The Yellow Star) shares a secret closely guarded by Cuban grandmothers-at least, by Cuban grandmothers of cockroaches. When you spill coffee on your suitor's shoes, Abuela tells her 21-day-old granddaughter Martina Josefina Catalina Cucaracha, his reaction tells you all you need to know about what sort of spouse he will make. And events prove her right. "-Ki-ki-ri-kiiii!" storms Don Gallo, the rooster, who seconds before has proposed very prettily to the six-legged beauty. "Clumsy cockroach! I will teach you better manners when you are my wife!" Don Cerdo the pig and Don Lagarto the lizard fare no better ("You are much too cold-blooded for me," Martina tells the lizard, who reveals in his irritation that he has actually planned to eat her). As a note on the book jacket explains, Cuban cockroaches are a lovely green, and Austin's (The Horned Toad Prince) lime-colored Martina, in high heels and a lace mantilla, appears the picture of maidenly charm. ("Daintily, she sat down/ and crossed her legs,/ and crossed her legs,/ and crossed her legs," quips Deedy.) 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. A Spanish-language version is available as well. Ages 6-10. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


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, Prez, 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) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Martina's Cuban grandmother advises lovely cockroach Martina to spill coffee on suitors to see examples of their personality. Martina is reluctant at first, but the test proves abuela's point: rooster Don Gallo is cocky; pig Don Cerdo is boorish; and lizard Don Lagarto is cold-blooded. Martina is exasperated until abuela points out overlooked suitor Perez the mouse. Amid compliments and blushes, Perez splashes café cubano onto Martina's shoes. How did you know about the Coffee Test? she asks in surprise. Well, mi amor, my love . . . I too have a Cuban grandmother. Deedy's masterful retelling of this Latino folktale has a rollicking voice imbued with sly tongue-in-cheek humor. The acrylic illustrations, in a hyperrealistic 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. Unfortunately, source notes are noticeably absent.--Del Negro, Janice Copyright 2007 Booklist