Cover image for Maria had a little llama
Maria had a little llama
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, 2013.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Geographic Term:
In this bilingual version of the classic rhyme, set in Peru, Maria takes her llama to school one day.

En esta versión bilingüe de la poesía clásica, ambientada en Perú, María toma su llama a la escuela un día.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY DOM 0 1

On Order



Everyone knows about Mary and her little lamb. But do you know Maria?

With gorgeous, Peruvian-inspired illustrations and English and Spanish retellings, Angela Dominguez gives a fresh new twist to the classic rhyme. Maria and her mischievous little llama will steal your heart.

Author Notes

Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City, grew up in the great state of Texas, and now resides in San Francisco. She has illustrated four previous books for children. As a child, she loved reading books and making a mess creating pictures. She's delighted to still be doing both.

Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

The familiar nursery rhyme underpins this peek into the landscape and culture of Peru. Dominguez's (Let's Go, Hugo) gouache-and-ink spreads portray a red-cheeked Maria and a llama with a curiously human face in cultivated mountain fields and a tiled-roofed village. Some spreads show novel combinations of traditional and modern life: Maria wears an Andean hat with earflaps, a heavy cape, and sandals, but her knapsack looks like that of any North American schoolchild. Each line of the rhyme appears with Spanish text below it ("Why does the llama love Maria so?"/Por que la llama le quiere tanto a Maria?"), and even readers unfamiliar with Spanish can probably decode a few nouns and verbs. As a bonus, the pages contain lots of visual information about Peruvian village life-the local market, the school, a traditional band-but Maria's story takes center stage. She's a gentle reminder that you don't have to be an English speaker to be a nursery-rhyme hero. Likely to be of special interest to bilingual families and in elementary school classrooms. Ages 3-7. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Maria and her llama smile out at us from the cover of this bilingual picture book, a riff on Mary Had a Little Lamb. Marias tale, told in English and Spanish, is set in the Peruvian Alps. The bold ink and gouache illustrations include plentiful cultural clues: the market, the village, the traditional headwear, and the musical instruments all help to place readers in the setting. The text mirrors the traditional tale (He followed her to school one day. / Un dia le siguio a la escuela), and the limited amount of text allows both languages to appear on the same page or spread. Maria and her llama, though, are the stars of this book. Their personalities and their affection for each other shine through. As if to confirm it, the last spread opens to a scene of children, llamas, and local Peruvian musicians playing and waving as they encircle our two stars dancing in the center. This is a scene young children will return to again and again. jim st. clair (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist 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 the llama. 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.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-What makes this translation of the well-known "Mary Had a Little Lamb" stand out is the setting. Children in the United States don't often encounter books set in Peru. This title offers a perfect opportunity to expand points of reference about the Spanish-speaking world while they have fun singing. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Mary had a little lamb, and now Mara has a little llama in this bilingual presentation of a classic children's rhyme, set in rural Peru. Dominguez presents a straightforward version of the familiar rhyme, adding just enough new elements to transform it into a story. The text flows rhythmically in both the English and the Spanish, which are placed together on the page with the English in bold and positioned above the Spanish. The amount of text per page is brief and appropriate for a bilingual read-aloud. The landscape and imagery transport the readers to Peru, a part of the world not often seen in picture books. The warmly affectionate gouache-and-ink artwork uses bold outlines and an earthy palette. Shifting perspectives and amusing details encourage investigation before turning the page. For example, readers can explore the map of Peruvian landmarks that Mara visits, count the hours on the floating clocks as the llama waits for school to end, or make up their own stories about what is happening on the wordless spread of the town square as Mara makes her way to school. Though readers may desire a less abrupt ending, the setting choice and spirited illustrations make up for this lack of creativity in the text. A fresh and enjoyable reimagining of a traditional children's rhyme. (Bilingual picture book. 3-7)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.