Habia una vez/Once Upon a Time

Overview

Enter an enchanted world of kings and giants, where cockroaches play dress-up and coyotes fly to the moon! In this lively bilingual collection of short stories, Spain and Latin America's most beloved tales are retold for a new generation.

From the grateful rooster who cries "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" to the awesome spirit of the Mother of the Jungle, Once Upon a Time/Habia una vez celebrates seven traditional folktales and tells them in a colorful, fresh voice. In these magical ...

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Overview

Enter an enchanted world of kings and giants, where cockroaches play dress-up and coyotes fly to the moon! In this lively bilingual collection of short stories, Spain and Latin America's most beloved tales are retold for a new generation.

From the grateful rooster who cries "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" to the awesome spirit of the Mother of the Jungle, Once Upon a Time/Habia una vez celebrates seven traditional folktales and tells them in a colorful, fresh voice. In these magical adventures that are sure to delight, readers young and old will meet some of the world's most memorable heroes and charming tricksters.

Entra a un mundo encantado de reyes y gigantes, donde las cucarachas se visten de gala ¡y los coyotes vuelan a la luna! En esta colección de cuentos bilingüe, encontrarás las historias más preciadas de España y Latinoamérica, reinventadas aquí para una nueva generación.

Del gallo agradecido que grita "¡Quiquiriquí!" al poderoso espíritu de la Madreselva, Once Upon a Time/Habia una vez celebra siete cuentos tanto populares como tradicionales. En estas aventuras mágicas que sin duda te agradarán, conocerás a héroes memorables y a pícaros encantadores.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This collection of seven Latin American folktales features side-by-side English and Spanish text and descriptions of the origins and significance of each tale. In modernized, plainspoken language, the selections range from a lighthearted courtship tale about a beautiful cockroach (deciding against lipstick, she says, “Red is not a good color for me”) to a trickster story featuring a gullible coyote. In the potentially unsettling “The Flower of Lirolay,” two princes bury their third sibling alive, but when they dig him up, he's “miraculously” still breathing. A mix of spot art, borders, and full-page scenes, Colón's illustrations, rendered in watercolor and colored pencil on scratched paper, are alternately playful and stately, and make the stories spring off the page. Ages 5-10. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly
This collection of seven Latin American folktales features side-by-side English and Spanish text and descriptions of the origins and significance of each tale. In modernized, plainspoken language, the selections range from a lighthearted courtship tale about a beautiful cockroach (deciding against lipstick, she says, “Red is not a good color for me”) to a trickster story featuring a gullible coyote. In the potentially unsettling “The Flower of Lirolay,” two princes bury their third sibling alive, but when they dig him up, he's “miraculously” still breathing. A mix of spot art, borders, and full-page scenes, Colón's illustrations, rendered in watercolor and colored pencil on scratched paper, are alternately playful and stately, and make the stories spring off the page. Ages 5–10. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Mandy Cruz
A collection of stories popular among Latin American children is sure to bring back memories as parents read them to their own children. We start with the story of the "Wedding Rooster." The rooster is on his way to his uncle's wedding when he spots a kernel of corn he cannot pass up. The corn soils his beak setting a chain of events into motion that will have children giggling at the interconnectedness of life. The next story is the "Tlacuache and the Coyote," in some parts of the world the tlacuache is known as an opossum or weasel. Weasel fits him well as he tricks the coyote more times than the coyote can count, even when the coyote has decided he will not fall for one more of the tlacuache's tricks, he does, actually, he jumps. We are also treated to "The Mother of the Jungle," a lesson about being good to mother earth; Martina the Cockroach and Perez the Mouse, a love story; "The Flower of Lirolay," the story of a blind king and his three sons who each want to inherit the throne; "The King and the Riddle," a story of a clever girl that wins the king's heart; and finally, "Pedro Urdemales and the Giant," the story of a mischief maker who outwits a giant in feats of strength. All classic stories, it is appropriate that they are bound together in one book. Reviewer: Mandy Cruz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 5–“La cucaracha Martina,” “El gallo de bodas,” “La Madreselva,” and “La flor de lirolay” are among the classics of Latin American lore presented here in delightful bilingual versions. Martínez retells seven stories in pleasant, uncomplicated prose and nothing has been lost in Unger’s masterful translation. Readers will delight in Martina, clad in her best garb, happily dancing the night away with elegant and courteous Pérez and will experience a chill when the mother of the jungle comes out to meet the man destroying her home. Colón’s vivid mixed-media illustrations are large and colorful, and have an appropriate touch of the dramatic, seizing readers’ attention. This handsome book will enchant youngsters and adults alike. It’s an excellent resource for Latino storytelling sessions.–Narda McCarthy, Para Los Niños Consultant, Weston, FL
Kirkus Reviews
A successful Mexican-American bookseller makes his debut as a writer with this bilingual collection of seven folktales from Spanish and Latin-American lore. Martinez offers sweet and fresh versions of two Caribbean stories already introduced to the young readers in the United States through prior literary adaptations: "The Wedding Rooster" and "Martina the Cockroach and Perez the Mouse." His collection also includes stories that have been told for generations in South America, such as "The Mother of the Jungle," from Colombian folklore, rich in ghosts and espantos, and "Pedro Urdemales and the Giant," which originated in Spain and was then popularized in Chile, Argentina and Venezuela. Kids may particularly enjoy the Mexican trickster story, "The Tlacuache and the Coyote." Unger's free Spanish translation conveys the author's storytelling voice and enhances it with the beauty of the stories' original language. Colon's exquisitely textured, full-page and border watercolor-and-pencil illustrations and such pleasing design details as flying birds and suns complete this gorgeous collection. (Folktales. 3 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061468957
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/9/2010
  • Language: Spanish
  • Edition description: Bilingual Edition
  • Pages: 95
  • Sales rank: 515,632
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 950L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Rueben Martínez founded Librería Martínez Books and Art Gallery in 1993. In 2000 he launched a second venue dedicated to children's literature. Librería Martínez Books is now among the largest commercial sellers of Spanish-language books in the country, serving as a cornerstone of cultural events and community activities that promote the benefits of reading to Hispanic Americans and Spanish-speaking immigrants. Rueben is also the cofounder of the Latino Book Festival. In 2004 he was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, the first ever given to a bookseller. Rueben lives in Santa Ana, California.


Rueben Martínez fundó la Librería Martínez Books and Art Gallery en 1993. En el 2000 lanzó otro espacio dedicado a la literatura infantil. Hoy en día la Librería Martínez es una de las librerías dedicadas a libros escritos en español más grandes de los Estados Unidos y se ha convertido en un centro cultural y comunitario que promueve la lectura en la comunidad hispana tanto en español como en inglés. Rueben es uno de los fundadores del Latino Book Festival y en 2004 le fue otorgado el prestigioso MacArthur Fellowship—fue la primer vez que se le otorgó a un librero. Rueben vive en Santa Ana, California.

Raúl Colón was born in New York City, studied art in Puerto Rico, and designed puppets and animated films in Florida. An illustrator of over thirty books for children, Raúl has received a Golden Kite Award, a Pura Belpré Award, and both a gold and silver medal in the Original Art show. He currently resides in New York City with his family.

Raúl Colón es un aclamado artista cuyo trabajo ha aparecido en numerosas publicaciones como el New York Times, Time, The New Yorker y el Wall Street Journal. Su arte para libros infantiles ha sido galardonado con medallas de oro y plata por la Society of Illustrators. Raúl vive en Nueva York.

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