Author: Ann Whitford Paul
Illustrator: Ethan Long
Publication Info: Holiday House, 2008
Source: Library copy
Intended audience: ages 4 and up
Genre: picture book (fiction)
Themes/topics: Friendship, language learning
Opening and synopsis: ”Iguana stumbled on a stone.
‘OWWWWWWWWWWW!’ she cried.
Tortuga poked out of his shell. ‘What’s wrong?’”
Iguana stubs her toe on a rock. There is no way she can make her cactus butter candies now. But Culebra has a plan that will have her feeling better in no time. But the friends will need un rolling pin, dos kettles and much, much more.
Why I like this book: I normally feature nonfiction books on Perfect Picture Book Fridays. However, this series has become quite popular in our house, and this book is the hands-down favorite. My three-year-old thinks Culebra’s antics are hilarious. He loves to count along in Spanish too. I appreciate the fact that the Spanish words are woven seamlessly into the text. Children can decipher the meaning from the text itself, though a glossary is included.
- Find Ann Whitford Paul’s classroom activities here.
- The book itself has a recipe for dulces made with butter, peanut butter, graham crackers and powdered sugar. Yum!
Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.
Published by Kirsten W. Larson
Kirsten W. Larson used to work with rocket scientists at NASA. Now she writes books for curious kids. She’s the author of WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane, illustrated by Tracy Subisak (Calkins Creek, 2020), A TRUE WONDER: The Comic Book Her Who Changed Everything, illustrated by Katy Wu (Clarion, 2021); THE FIRE OF STARS: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars are Made of, illustrated by Katherine Roy (Chronicle, 2023), THIS IS HOW YOU KNOW, illustrated by Cornelia Li (Little, Brown, 2024) and THE LIGHT OF RESISTANCE, illustrated by Barbara McClintock (Roaring Brook, 2023) along with 25 other nonfiction books for kids. She's a geek, LEGO lover, and sock enthusiast. Find her at kirsten-w-larson.com or on Twitter/Instagram @KirstenWLarson.
View all posts by Kirsten W. Larson
29 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: COUNT ON CULEBRA”
I love Ann Whitford Paul’s Writing Picture Books, which is right here beside me. I’d love to read this fun tale. Thanks Kirsten!
That’s my writing “Bible” too, Catherine. I find it fantastic for giving critiques as well. She’s a master!
Thank you for the picture book AND craft book recommendations.
Maybe we should start “Wonderful Writing Book Wednesdays?”
This book sounds like a delight — and dulces sound delicious!
They are pretty easy to make, Beth. Now you just have to read the book. Yum!
Love your passion for reading….it’s very infectious.
This book might be more appropriate for your kids versus the banned book list. 🙂
Must ADD this one to my list – hee, hee!
I also recommend the others in the series. I love Tortuga in Trouble.
Now I’ll have to multiply my efforts!
Now this is serendipity two fold. I met up with a 12x12er this morning for coffee and we were pouring over an Ann Whiteford Paul’s book about writing. Also I feel this book you have reviewed would be an excellent book for me to start learning spanish as hubby and I are heading for South America early next year. I’m heading back to the library later… thanks for sharing Kirsten.
Look for all four books. The other titles are: Tortuga in Trouble, Manana Iguana and Fiesta Fiasco. It’s a great way to learn Spanish. And Ann’s book on writing is THE BEST!
Wonderful recommendation. I was talking about you this week (were your ears burning?) as I was sharing Swirl by Swirl with my MIL and telling her about your excellent picture book suggestions!
Oh, Heather, you just made my morning!
Gosh, I practically fell over to see a fiction book here 🙂 But this looks like a lot of fun! I love that it has the recipe, and encourages learning Spanish! Thanks so much for adding it to the list! 🙂
I really wanted to add the whole series. Maybe I’ll review more in the future. I figure they fit in since they are “learning” books (not that you can’t learn things from most books.”)
I am another big fan of Ann Whitford Paul’s book about writing. And she funds the grant for the Barbara Karlin Grant Runner-up!!! I have read this book, and I am so glad you added it to the list!
Isn’t she wonderful! I am just sad that she doesn’t teach in the UCLA Writer’s Program anymore (as far as I know).
This looks like a fun book to learn to count in Spanish. I love the cover – so cute!
The artwork is vibrant and fun. The friends are quite cute.
Great choice Kirsten. Sounds like a fun counting book — and one in a foreign language. That puts it at the top of my list. Glad you shared this!
Pat, if you can, find the whole series, I would recommend all of them. They are fun.
I always enjoy your nonfiction choices, but this one sounds fun. Another winner!
Every now and then I have to mix things up. 🙂
What fun, Kirsten! Love the cooking theme…and then you add the numbers in Spanish…sounds like a winning book. 🙂
It’s a lot of fun. Right now, my mom is visiting. She took Spanish in college, so she is the top choice for reading it right now.
Looks like a fun book. Will have to check it out. Thanks.