Ten Little Puppies / Diez perritos


Count along in Spanish and English as each one of the ten adorable puppies disappears from the pages –it’s a bilingual bonanza! Colorful and playful illustrations by artist Ulises Wensell, a vibrant rendition of the classical nursery rhyme by F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada, and a delightful English adaptation by Rosalma Zubizarreta will make this edition an instant family favorite. Last pages are devoted to feature the puppy breeds presented in the book.


My mother was the best Mamá Goose in the world. She knew every saying, proverb, nursery rhyme, folk story, and she blessed my brothers, sister and I with her re-telling.

Our family room was an “everything-room” and while I was doing my homework I would hear her singing a rhyme to Vicente, or telling us all a story that was pertinent to the point she wanted to make evident to us. The story of the Ten Little Puppies as retold by her was the traditional piece of the folklore in which something dramatic happened to each one of the little puppies. Alma Flor and I decided that we would retell the story with a happier tone to it and the result is this wonderful book. I have had a Dalmatian,  and a Labrador. Alma Flor’s children had a Samoyed. They are all finally back with us!



ADA, Alma Flor & F. Isabel Campoy. Ten Little Puppies/Diez perritos. tr. by Rosalma Zubizarreta. illus. by Ulises Wensell. unpaged. glossary. HarperCollins/Rayo. Mar. 2011. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-147043-1; PLB $17.89. ISBN 978-0-06-147044-8. LC number unavailable.

In one of the most popular counting rhymes in Spanish folklore, 10 adorable puppies decrease by one with each page turn. Enticements such as snow, pastries, fireworks, a new home, theater, sickness, and fun cause the puppies to move on, until only one remains as a beloved companion for a child. Vibrant colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations are done in deep hues of green, pastels, and earth tones to create realistic images that capture the spontaneous, playful, and affectionate nature of the pups. The text can be sung or spoken in Spanish or English. The English translation skillfully utilizes rhyme to maintain the story’s authenticity while accurately reflecting the original poem. The back section contains musical notation of the melody, guitar chord symbols, the bilingual verses in their entirety, and a glossary with information about the 10 dog breeds featured. Large, appealing illustrations will make this a favorite for storytime presentations; an excellent source in helping children to develop prereading skills, and a fun way to introduce them to early math concepts such as addition and subtraction. –Cristi Jenkins, Fort Vancouver Library District, WA