Martina the Beautiful Cockroach

A culturally inspired children’s book about a beautiful cockroach named, Martina who, with the welcomed and unwelcome consejos de su abuelita (advice from her grandmother), sets out seeking a suitable match for marriage. Out of obligation to her grandmother’s traditional, Cuban customs, Martina meets with Don Gallo, Don Cerdo, and Don Lagarto. After three failed coffee tests, Martina declines their hand in marriage. The tables turn when she meets a mouse with a grandmother just as traditional as her. Martina the Beautiful Cockroach is a beautiful Cuban folktale where the illustrations bring the text to life and beauty is found in even the most unlikely of creatures.

Deedy, C. A. (2007). Martina the beautiful cockroach. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree

Evaluative Criteria:

  • Cultural Markers – You’ll find that the names of the characters are of latin origin, providing some cultural authenticity. Martina’s suitors are all called by the Spanish name for what animal they are (Don Cerdo, Gallo, and Lagarto). In addition, each page incorporates the Spanish language that gives the reader a genuine reading experience; we can imagine what the conversation in the story would sound like. Cultural markers are also established by the traditional, chaperoned courtships of a Latina that was customary in the 20th century.
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