Sunday, March 22, 2015

Maria Had a Little Llama

Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía una Llamita written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez published August 20th 2013.
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Theme: Animals, Culture
Age: 3 - 7

Quote: “María tenía una llama pequeña cuya lana era tan blanca como la nieve."

Awards: Pura Belpre Honor Award, Illustration Honor

Languages: English / Spanish

Review: Dominguez, a Mexican American illustrator, adapts the familiar rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to a new, Peruvian setting and offers each verse in both English and Spanish. When Maria’s white llama follows her to school, the students are amused, but the teacher sends him outdoors. He waits patiently while the teacher explains that the llama loves Maria because Maria loves thellama. Kudos to Dominguez for using the entire poem rather than just the familiar opening verses. On the other hand, there is no mention of the original authorship. Using distinctive features of Andean dress, culture, and landscape (at one point the characters stand of a map of Peru), the gouache-and-ink illustrations feature bold lines and simple forms. Dominguez uses color effectively, with the white llama and Maria’s bright red cap making them easy to spot. With its cheerful combination of fresh and familiar elements, this distinctive version of the rhyme makes a fine addition to library collections, particularly where there is a demand for bilingual picture books. - Carolyn Phelancome