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Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita
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Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  294 ratings  ·  92 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 28 pages
Published August 20th 2013 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah GuarinoLlama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna DewdneyLlama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna DewdneyMaria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita by Angela  DominguezLily the Llama by Kate Hill
4th out of 40 books — 3 voters
Knock Knock by Daniel BeatyWords with Wings by Nikki GrimesCreepy Carrots! by Aaron ReynoldsA Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo WillemsFlora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
2014 Award Winners
54th out of 72 books — 15 voters

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Community Reviews

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Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you a humbled woman. A woman who “knew” certain facts but, until she saw them working in her own personal life, was made up of knowledge that was almost entirely speculative. Case in point, as a children’s librarian I “knew” (there are those quotation marks again) that nursery rhymes were important to children. But until I had spawned my own sprog I never really saw their power at play. All it took was one little sing/reading of Tomie de Paola’s board book ve ...more
Loved this, but was so put-off by the cover flap description, I bumped it down a star. "Everyone knows the story of Mary Had a Little Lamb." I dunno, it just left a bad taste in my mouth — my kids very well might not know the tale of whitey white white girl Mary, and this shouldn't be relegated to just another "ethnic version" of an Anglo tale.
Feb 19, 2014 LauraW rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to LauraW by: Andrea
This is a sweet book that takes the familiar nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and changes it to be about a little girl named Maria, who has a white llama. The illustrations look to be Peruvian (or perhaps Bolivian). The text is in two languages, English and Spanish.

Recommended for teachers who have their students re-write familiar folk tales and nursery rhymes for different cultures and time periods. Pair with a book that has the original, in case the children are not familiar with it.
Maria Had a Little Llama is a great take on a familiar nursery rhyme. Kids who know Mary and her lamb will enjoy this story. The illustrations are gorgeous and reflect the Peru that I've seen in photos. There aren't very many books set in Peru and I'm happy to see one that is tasteful and beautiful. I love seeing the small Peruvian elements like the chullo Maria wears and the pipes she plays, in addition to her llama. I can't wait to read this with my future kiddos one day and introduce them to ...more
Robert J
Maria Had a Little Llama is a Peruvian version of the classic English nursery rhyme. This bilingual version uses Maria instead of Mary and a llama instead of a lamb as this name and animal would be more associated with that region of the world. The idea of taking the English version and adapting it to what would be seen as more familiar in another country is a clever way to introduce a different culture to American readers. Illustrations include an Inca Trail map, types of clothing worn in Peru ...more
Martiah Rall
“Maria had a little llama Maria tenia una llamita” by Angela Dominguez is based off of the classic nursery rhyme, Mary Had A Little Lamb. Every line in the book is followed by the Spanish translation making it interesting to follow the story line throughout. In the story Maria has a little, white llama that she really likes. The relationship between the girl and the llama is shown by the way the llama follows her to school and then waits around for her when it is kicked out of the classroom.

Sarah Wilbern
Dominguez, Angela. (2013). Maria Had a Little Llama/Maria Tenia Una Llamita. New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Pura Belpre Award. Williamsburg Library.

Picture Book Soak.

This book would be a great book for ESL students because the book has the story written in English and in Spanish. I could read through the book in Spanish and then in English. Doing this could help build the vocabulary of the ESL students. The story is set in a Latin American setting, and has the main character Maria dresse
Jean Coughlin
1. This book is like many other books that are spin-offs from the original text. Lon Po Po is the Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood. There are hundreds of books like these that are adaptations of some original, but are still fun in their own right.
2. Questions
1. What is the animal that Maria owned?
2. Explain how the pictures helped you understand where Maria lived.
3. How is Maria Had a Little Llama similar to Mary Had a Little Lamb?
4. Compare /contrast your life with Maria’s life.
Kasey Thurman
Text-to-Self: I remember as a little girl loving the nursery rhyme "Mary had a little Lamb". I used to sing it all the time. I am sure that many of us knew this 'song' when we were little. This is the main reason why I picked this book because it was similar but different to that song. I liked that it was about a different culture and that I got a different perspective on the book.

Text-to-Text: This book is just like the nursery rhyme "Mary had a little Lamb" but instead of a lamb it is a llama
Kianna Buckner
"Maria Had A Little Llama" by Angela Dominguez is a great book. Maria had a llama that loved her so much that it followed her everywhere, even to school. She loved the llama too. Everyone could see how much they loved each other.
The text is in English and Spanish. I loved how the author did that. This would be a great book to read to ELL students. This book reminded me of Mary Had A Little Lamb. I like how the author made it similar but in its own way at the same time. This book is more cultura
Cecelie Betz
Cecelie Betz

Maria Had A Little Llama

Text-to-Text Connection

Maria Had A Little Llama is a bilingual book, which has won the Pura Belpre’ Honor. This book was very simple to make a text-to-text reference. Text-to-text references are connections between the text and another story or text that you have previously read. This book is clearly similar to Mary had a Little Lamb, which is the same type of book and even a song. Maria Had A Little Llama is the exact same book as Mary had a little Lamb exc
Jordyn Styskal
Book: Maria Had a Little Llama: Maria Tenia una Llamita by Angela Dominguez
1. Reflection (Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World):
This book reminded me of the classic story “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. This would be a great text to use to lead a discussion about variety of books and different variations of books.

2. Discussion Questions:
1. I want you to make a prediction about what you think this story is going to be about based on the title.
2. Thinking about this story, can you nam
Julie Feldman
Text-to-Text Connection: This book reminded me of Mary Had a Little Lamb. The story follows the same sequence as Mary Had a Little Lamb. I would love to read both texts to my students and compare/contrast the two. It would then be neat to have my students write their own version of this classic story.

Blooms Questions:
1. Who were the main characters in the story?
2. Explain what it means when the author says "It's fleece was white as snow?"
3. How is Maria Had a Little Llama similar to Mary Had
Mirissa Holbrook
This book was very cute. I loved the drawings of the little llama and found him much more adorable than any lamb I've ever seen. I wish someone brought one to school one day so I could pat his fuzzy little head. In regards to the actual text, I liked that it stuck with the traditional nursery rhyme structure, even with the different cast of characters. That made it easy to read and gave the book a rhythm. I also liked that the Spanish translation was integrated without being distracting. If some ...more
Kathy Leonard
Dominguez, Angela. Maria Had A Little Llama. Maria Tenia Una Llamita (2013). A refreshing twist on Mary Had A Little Lamb. It has all the classical elements but added dimension in that the setting is changed. The variation makes the story feel new, even though it is a classic. Maria is in Peru and the representation of her culture is beautifully illustrated. Maria loved her Llama and her love was reciprocated. Maria went to school and her Llama wanted to stay by her side: the story of a girl and ...more
Gema Ramirez
Text-to-Text: “María Had a Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita”

I’m so glad I decided to pick this book for one of my multicultural picture books. This book's title reminded me of the familiar nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb right away. The text in this book is bilingual so it has the words in Spanish and English. The best part of this book is that it has a Peruvian culture, so it’s a nice way for children to first experience this culture. This culture is also integrated into the illustr
Alexsandy Jimenez
This book depicts a story of a little girl who loves a little llama very much and the love is mutual that the llama follows the young girl to school. Once at school Maria comes to know that her little llama cannot stay inside the school. But to every ones surprise the llama waits for Maria until she gets out from school.
This book leads of a nursery like rhyme “ Mary had a little lamb” , and its is evident that rhyme is present. This book provides a translation in the languages Spanish and Englis
Ashley Snarr
I adored this book!!! I cannot explain how cute I found this little picture book. I loved how it not only had it in English but underneath the words were in Spanish. It showed different cultures, but how both cultures can come together. I loved how it showed the difference of we would have lambs for our farms, while Maria had a llama that she would take care of on the farm. This book made me smile and helped me realize that we don't all have the same things in our culture but we are all similar ...more
With a llamita and una niñita named María, a traditional nursery rhyme visits the mountains of Peru. Author/illustrator Angela Dominguez provides the complete rhyme in English and Spanish. The illustrations are the standout element of this book. Spreads with charming images of a little girl in traditional dress with a contemporary purple backpack also highlight Peruvian culture. María has a panpipe in her backpack. She walks through the center of a Peruvian village, past the vegetable market. I ...more
Kristi Bernard
We all know that Mary had a little lamb, and its fleece was as white as snow. But, did you know that Maria had a little llama and its fleece was as white as snow too?

Children will love this slight twist on an old tale. Maria has a llama that follows her every where even to school. The other children loved the little llama but not nearly as much as Maria.

It made the children laugh and play to see a llama at school.
Los ninos rieron y jugaron al ver una llama en la escuela.

This little story represe
The very popular nursery rhyme “Mary Had A Little Lamb” is retold in a bilingual version featuring a Peruvian girl, Maria, and her little llama.

Both the English and Spanish for each verse appear on the double-page spreads.

Not only does the text facilitate the learning of Spanish words, but Peruvian culture is integrated into the charming illustrations also by the author. For example, when the text reads “And everywhere that Maria went, the llama was sure to go” we see a map of Peru behind Maria
Stephenie Barnes
This is a Spanish version of "Mary had a little lamb". It is a great book to read in a Spanish class because below the English sentence, there is the corresponding Spanish sentence. It is a very short story but could still teach children a lot about the Spanish language and culture. The fact that it rhymes makes the story more intriguing. The pictures are very big and colorful. All the characters look so happy and the pictures make the town look loving and inviting. I would definitely read this ...more
Jasmyn H
Dominguez, A. (2013). Maria had a Little Llama. New York: Henry Holt.

Pura Belpre Honor Book


The author of this book takes the well known classic of Mary had a little lamb and brings it new life. The story is written in both English and Spanish, so I think this would be a great book to use in class when there may students whose primary language is Spanish and are learning English as a second language. I enjoyed the illustrations of this book because they were very colorful and appropriatel
Rachel Stolzman
Maria Had a Little Llama was a great new twist to the old nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb. I think that this book would do great in a class room setting because it not only tells a fun story, but it also incorporates the Spanish language. The text is written both in Spanish and English, which provides an interesting spin on this book. The pictures were beautifully drawn, and really helped create the scene that the author was describing. Mary Had a Little Llama would be a great book to use ...more
Bridgette Hossbach
Book: Maria Had a Little LLama Maria Tenia Una Llamita
Author: Angela Dominguez
Pages: 28

A retelling of mary and her little lamb with a twist! The book includes the spanish translation and helps introduce students to the spanish language.
Ink and watercolor bring these illustrations to life; it was very visually appealing to me. This book would be a great addition to a teachers library and would be especially affective while working with ELL learners. I would recommend this book for young readers
Kaitlyn Steckbeck
"Maria Had a Little LLama" is a great story to read to young children. It is like the song "Mary Had a Little Lamb" except it is a story of a little girl named Maria who has a white llama. The book tells the story of Maria's llama who wants to follow Maria everywhere she goes, even to school. The book has deep colors and lines that are great for younger students because it can really engage them in the pictures. The book is not only written in English but Spanish as well. This is why it would be ...more
I liked the setting of the traditional "Mary had a little lamb" moved to Peru. The palate for the illustrations is muted and seems to fit this setting well. The llamas' faces looked a little odd at times and I'm curious as to why none of the other children wore a hat or sandals like Maria. Also, why no acknowledgement of Sarah Hale who wrote the original poem? Overall, though this was an enjoyable picture book.
2014 Belpre Illustrator Honor

This was my favorite of this year's award winner and honors for this category. The llama is very expressive and I think the culture is depicted very well in the illustrations. A cute rendition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb." I think the kiddos will enjoy this one :)

great for a featured storytime choice, PSST, and possibly my toddlers since we're putting lambs on the board to when we sing the classic song.

Clever retelling of the Mary had a Little Lamb. A very Happy book and I even enjoyed practicing my Spanish pronunciation.

Received a 2014 Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Honor Award honoring a Latino illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:
Obviously, a Latin American version of Mary Had a Little Lamb. What I like about it: It's bilingual with simple text I can read! The text pretty much follows along with the story, but the illustrations tell much more about Maria and her environment and culture. I did so enjoy this one!
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Angela was born in Mexico City, grew up in the great state of Texas, and recently moved from San Francisco to Brooklyn. As a child, she loved reading books and making a mess creating pictures. She’s delighted to still be doing both professionally. Angela has worked with numerous publishers including Dial, Abrams, Bloomsbury, Candlewick, Roaring Brook, and Henry Holt.

In 2013, Angela made her debut
More about Angela Dominguez...
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