Review of Martina Has Too Many Tías

Martina Has Too Many Tías Martina Has Too Many Tías
by Emma Otheguy; illus. by Sara Palacios
Primary    Atheneum    40 pp.
6/23    9781534445369    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781534445376    $10.99
Spanish ed.  9781534445840    $18.99

In this expert picture-book riff on the classic Caribbean folktale “La Cucaracha Martina,” Otheguy celebrates big families with room for all types of dispositions. Introverted, story-loving Martina is overwhelmed by the noise from her three boisterous tías, who have come for a visit and a fiesta. With a pounding headache, Martina slips away, falls into a pot of bubbling guava fruit, and is transported to a warm island, illustrated in calming blues. On the island, she interacts with various animals until she finds the quiet ratoncito. In the end, Martina misses her loud family and makes her way back to her tías. She shares the story of her adventure, and her tías listen attentively. Colorful collages, digitally rendered, bring a sense of vibrancy. Palacios’s visual representation of the cacophony of sounds in the overlays—in particular the page with all three tías—is bright and loud; you can feel the noise pop off the page. An author’s note explains the folktale tie-in and explores the trope of the loud Latina.

From the July/August 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Yesica Hurd

Yesica Hurd is a children's librarian at the Berkeley Public Library at the Central Children's Room.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.