Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, by Carmen Agra Deedy

January 4th, 2012 in Books/Reading

Could I,

in fact,

have a favorite children’s book?


that would be a huge statement for me to make.

But I do know if I had to pick the top one for 2011,

and maybe 2010 and 2009 all combined…

that I could really, truthfully say that

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, by Carmen Agra Deedy

is it.

This morning Abby had a few friends over, and I overheard her showing off things in her room to her friends. She pulled out this book and the CD that went with it. She was trying to explain to them in a serious stressed out voice, “This is CUBAN…this is a Cuban story…” She really wanted them to understand it before she played it for them.

So this author, Carmen Agra Deedy (I have written about her before) is a storyteller and is mesmerizing. Her voice is beautiful. I love the stories about her heritage, how funny she makes everything, how her background is so different from mine, YET I can relate to the family dynamics in her stories… just wow. And I love her children’s books, but this one is on the top of the list.

It is about a beautiful cockroach who is about to have “callers” come to request for her hand in marriage. Her grandmother gives her the gift of a piece of advice: when a caller comes to her balcony to ask for her hand in marriage, she should… test them. The Cuban grandmother tells her to “accidentally” spill coffee on them to see how they will treat her when they lose their patience. She tells her this will be a good test for how they will treat her in their marriage when they lose their temper.

Oh, and does she learn things about them! But the best is when she finds her true husband… and how he tests HER.

But you must get a copy of the book that also has a CD of Carmen telling the story. It brings the story to life even more and gives you a good tempo to read the story by.

Boy oh boy, do I love this book. Be sure to pick up Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, by Carmen Agra Deedy.


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