Perez y Martina
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.