Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale By Pura Belpré

79 pages of excellent text, filled with beautiful black & white and color illustrations. Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale

“I do not like your voice, and besides, I have heard that you frogs talk constantly day and night.” Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale This folklore traces back to Latin America but there are many variations; this version comes from Pura Belpré, a much respected and beloved Puerto Rican librarian who is the inspiration for many modern Latinx librarians today in the U.S. as well as REFORMA (The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking).

With that being said, I didn't particularly love this version of the folktale. The ending--which yes, is a huge plot twist--where Ratón Pérez falls to his death in the cooking pot was a bit jarring. Adults who are worried about upsetting more sensitive children may want to skip this version but that part didn't bother me tbh. What frustrated me was how seemingly out of nowhere this plot twist came from. Maybe the abruptness of the story comes from the fact that not all stories end well with a bow tie on top (most of us on Goodreads know for a fact that the original Grimms' fairy tales don't end happily-ever-after and this version of the folktale follows a similar narrative beat).

Knowing there are other versions out there pacifies my reader heart though. If you want a version of PEREZ & MARTINA that ends happier (and has cuter illustrations), I would recommend looking at Carmen Agra Deedy's MARTINA THE BEAUTIFUL COCKROACH: A CUBAN FOLKTALE. Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale So Martina, perhaps the same who inspired the excellent Martina the Beautiful Cockroach finally meets a guy she can put up with. They get married, then shortly thereafter he dies in the pot of boiling soup she was making especially for him. I'm waiting for the moral. Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale Had a breakdown about this book last night. Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale Martina is looking for a suitor to marry. Many come to ask her but she doesn't like the way they will talk to her until Perez the Mouse. She marries Perez and they are happy. For Christmas she decides to make him a very special dish. While Martina is out sweeping, Perez goes into the kitchen and smells the delicious food. He tries to get an almond of the pot and falls in. Martina is very sad. To this day, Martina still sings and weeps for her Perez. Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale

Pura Belpré È 2 Review

Originally published in 1932, Perez and Martina marked the beginning of Pura Belpré's literary career, one that - like her work as a storyteller and children's librarian at the New York Public Library - was largely devoted to promoting the culture and folklore of her native Puerto Rico in the United States, and to improving library services for the Puerto Rican community of New York. Her pioneering role, in making the public library an institution accessible to the wider Latino community, was recognized in 1996 by the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, who named their award for excellence in children's literature the Pura Belpré Award.

Don't expect a happily ever after ending from this Puerto Rican folktale, which follows the pretty little cockroach Martina, as she receives and rejects numerous marriage proposals, until finally the charming mouse Perez succeeds in making her a bride. All is well with the happy newlyweds, until Martina decides to try a new recipe, and Perez - seduced by the delicious odor, and longing to have a taste - leans too far over the kettle, falls in, and is cooked to death.

Yes. The newly wedded husband is accidentally cooked to death - in his wife's kettle. This surprise ending will undoubtedly shock and distress more sensitive younger readers, so parents should be aware of it. Oddly enough, I found it somewhat amusing, if only because it was so wholly unexpected. The accompanying illustrations by Carlos Sanchez (yes, there is a spread of Perez, with his feet sticking out of the kettle) have an old-fashioned charm, with their bright colors and bold design. I think any reader who can get through the Brothers Grimm, can probably handle Perez and Martina, which I would recommend to all folklore lovers and Pura Belpré fans. Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale The first Spanish-language book for children published by a mainstream US press. Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale I can't remember where I saw the recommendation for this, but I'm glad I read it. I'm not sure that I had read a book by Pura Belpre' before. This was a little jarring in that the illustrations for some of the text came after a description; they were rarely opposite. Today's kids might snicker at the name of one of the characters, and I was surprised by the end. It's interesting to see how illustrations and books have changed since this was written in 1932. Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale Folk tales are apart of a great literary and oral tradition that is passed on from generation to generation. This Puerto Rican folk tale is another example of how traditions are carried and have the possibility to be published. In this tale, Martina is a cockroach that is pursued by many different suitors but she has her eyes for one little mouse named Perez. Martina makes a special Dish for Perez that he has never experienced and mishap ensues. Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale Martina the Cockroach is beautiful and receives many suitors...but only Perez the Mouse has a voice that pleases Martina. They get married and Martina is so happy that she cooks her husband a delicious dish. Perez loves it so much, he tries to eat a taste...but falls in and is cooked to death. Perez and Martina: A Portorican Folk Tale