Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Perez and Martina by Pura Belpre, ill. Carlos Sanchez
“Folktales! They don’t end the way you expect ’em to . . . if they’re authentic.”
If you are familiar with #ownvoices children’s books, then you know that these are titles where a book is written by someone with learned experience from the culture they are representing. We might have quite a debate over what the oldest #ownvoices picture book published in America is, that is arguably famous to this day, and that also is written by someone who wasn’t white and European. My vote goes to today’s book circa 1932. Sadly, it appears to be out of print. For that matter, ALL of Pura Belpre’s books look like they’re out of print, with the possible exception of Firefly Summer. Something wrong with that, people. In this episode Kate and I get to do all kinds of fun animal sounds. Particularly “Borom”. We’re very fond of “Borom”
Lots of books get mentioned in this show. One of them that is discussed right at the top is the upcoming Goodnight, Bubbala by Sheryl Haft and Jill Weber. Coming this fall.
Here’s a link to that lamentable Washington Examiner piece The Baltimore Mayor Scandal Wouldn’t Have Happened If Modern Children’s Books Weren’t So Dumb. You kind find Nick Bruel’s response on Facebook.
Just a quick note that if you want a cool picture book that features Pura Belpre and here Perez and Martina puppets, check out The Storyteller’s Candle by Lucia M. Gonzalez.
Here’s the photo of Pura Belpre with her Perez and Martina puppets from Wikipedia.
Both Kate and I were unfamiliar with the spelling of “Portorican”. The internet was not able to provide much background on it. Information would be nice, if you have it.
Fair play to Kate for noticing that though Belpre’s text specifically says that Martina has “soft brown skin”, the artist chose to render her skin pink. Hrm hrm hrm hrm? Or was it a change made by the publisher?
Fair play to The Dragon Slayer by Jaime Hernandez for its take on the same folktale.
Question of the Day: What is Senior Frog wearing around his neck?
Regarding the Duck . . . Stoned or grimace of pain? You be the judge.
This is the image that Kate thought was just gorgeous in terms of the work that went into the colors here.
This is undoubtedly horrifying to come home to. His two little footsies sticking out of the pot.
And finally, the sun may be kind of a big deal, but sassy he is not.
Filed under: Fuse 8 n' Kate
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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