Martina the Beautiful Cockroach by Carmen Agra Deedy – Books for Kids to Read

It’s Felicia! Today’s review is of Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Michael Austin.

One of my friends has been raving about this book, but I have been hesitant to check it out due to my extreme cockroach phobia. I have a horrible and LEGITIMATE fear that one evening I will be outside, sitting on the patio, and a tree roach will fly into my mouth.

I finally overcame my fear and checked out the book from our local library. I am so glad that I did! I have never heard of this wonderful Cuban folktale, but my family certainly did fall in love with this variation.

I’ll admit, I had stereotypes and preconceived notions about cockroaches and who they should marry, but this book proved me wrong. Martina is truly a beautiful cockroach and a rooster and a lizard are among some of the animals that come to court her in this book. Her Cuban grandmother gives her some sage advice while some of the other Cucarachas in the family just tried to make her even more attractive to entice a mate.

Even though her grandmother gives ‘un consejo increíble’, shocking advice, Martina decides to exercise her grandmother’s unorthodox suggestion called ‘The Coffee Test’. Soon, Martina discovers that her Abuela knew what she was talking about as she dismisses potential mates, who were sheep in wolf’s clothing, within the first few minutes of meeting them. Soon, Martina finds her perfect match. Surprise, surprise! He has a Cuban grandmother as well!

This book is super delightful and with having two girls, I plan on adding this to our own library very soon! Every girl and woman should use ‘The Coffee Test’ when looking for the one while dating and even though this book is light-hearted and very sweet, there is a little bit of truth to it! Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale is a delightful and well written book! I can’t wait to bring more Carmen Deedy books to read at home!

Go HERE to get it on Amazon. Or better yet, shop local and head to Brazos Bookstore!


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