Juan Bobo Four folktales from Puerto Rico

Carmen T. Bernier-Grand

Book - 1994

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An I can read book.
Folk tales
Picture books
New York : HarperCollins c1994.
1st ed
Item Description
Includes Spanish text at end. Pictures accompany English text only.
Physical Description
58 p. : col. ill. ; 22 cm
Main Author
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand (-)
Other Authors
Ernesto Ramos Nieves (illustrator)
  • The best way to carry water (La mejor manera de cargar agua)
  • A pig in Sunday clothes (Una cerda en ropa de domingo)
  • Do not sneeze, do not scratch, do not eat (No estornudes, no te rasques
  • no comas!)
  • A dime a jug (Diez centavos la jarra).
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Bernier-Grand retells a quartet of traditional folktales from her native land for this latest offering in the I Can Read series. Juan Bobo, a well-meaning scamp, tries to be good, but like a Puerto Rican Amelia Bedelia, he continually thwarts his mother by taking each of her instructions quite literally. Complaining that the water buckets are too heavy for him to carry, for instance, he's told by his exasperated mother to use something else. Juan Bobo settles on a pair of baskets, and the water, naturally, ends up in a puddle on the floor. In another story, an invitation to dinner and the attendant lecture from Mama on best behavior result in a comedy of errors--and one very hungry boy. The hot tropical colors of Ramos Nieves's stylized illustrations further enliven the tales, giving them a fiesta atmosphere. Spanish-speaking readers will find translations of the stories in the back of the book; the placement, however, seems a bit odd--surely it would have been more effective to allow the Spanish text to share the striking artwork. Ages 4-8. (May) Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 3-Four charming folktales about Puerto Rico's beloved noodlehead, Juan Bobo. In one story, he uses baskets instead of buckets to carry water from the stream because they are lighter; in another tale, the boy dresses the family pig in his mother's clothes with amusing results. In the third tale, Juan Bobo takes his mother's advice to heart when he is told not to sneeze, scratch, or eat too much while he is a guest in a neighbor's home, and he ends up not having any dinner at all. Finally, he is asked to sell his mother's sugarcane syrup to some widows, who are described as being small, dressed in shiny black dresses, carrying fans, and speaking softly. When Juan sees some flies buzzing, he decides that they must be the widows. His completion of this chore is humorous and unique. The easy-to-read, large-print text is in English, with each of the tales reprinted in Spanish at the end of the book. The stories realistically reveal the rural culture of Puerto Rico at the beginning of this century. Nieves's illustrations vividly capture the vibrant colors and rhythms of the tropical countryside. The humorously depicted characters come to life in their expressions and attire. A delightful selection for beginning readers or as a read-aloud.-Jessie Meudell, California Polytechnic University at Pomona Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Four funny stories about a young Puerto Rican boy include, "The best way to carry water," "A pig in Sunday clothes," "Do not scratch, do not eat," and "A dime a jug"