Book Cover

In this story, Lázaro presents an original legend surrounding the coquí. Like many legends, it starts “long, long ago” at a time when “life was so easy that the animals didn’t have to do much but eat, sleep, nap, and snack.” Naturally, this behavior leads to a lethargy that does not please the queen of the forest, the parrot. And a race is announced. One representative from each type of animal will race. Whichever one wins, all of its type will get “a fantastic prize.” With many an onomatopoeic sound, the competitors exercise and get ready for the big day, all except for the quiet little frogs. Their representative hops, jumps, and leaps with glee on its face, but no sound issues from its throat. It will come as no surprise to readers—but is no less satisfying—to find the little frog wins the race. And, the prize? Why, the sound that visitors to the island to this very day can still hear: “coquí.” Bright and colorful illustrations beautifully capture the Puerto Rican rainforest setting, rendered mostly in double-page spreads. The movement-filled illustrations are as dynamic as the race itself, with display type adding playful emphasis.

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