Perez y Martina

Pérez y Martina by Pura Belpré cover, a well dressed cockroach is being romanced by a well dressed mouse

Pérez y Martina: Un cuento folklórico puertorriqueño

(Pérez and Martina: A Puerto Rican Folktale)

Written by Pura Belpré

Illustrated by Carlos Sánchez

New York, F. Warne, 1961

Originally published 1932

10" x 8.3"

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

University of Minnesota Libraries

In 1926, Pura Belpré enrolled in the Library School of The New York Public Library. For "The Art of Storytelling" course, she was required to compose a short narrative. The story she submitted, based on a folktale remembered from childhood, became her first picture book, shown here. Martina, a beguiling and elaborately coifed cockroach, sits on her front porch as one suitor after another comes calling. In the end, refinement wins out as Pérez, the courtly mouse, triumphs over his louder, showier rivals.


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