Mandy Princess of La La Land

Children - Fable
52 Pages
Reviewed on 03/08/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I was born in Havana, Cuba on November 1958 under the Fidel Castro regime.
My mother, my two younger sisters, and I came to the United States in June 1970, I was eleven years old. I still remember how when we were in Cuba we lacked the simplest of things and how much our mother struggled to feed us, not to mention the cruelties we endured because of our open desire to leave the country. Books were my outlet, my escape from the hardships of life.
My love for reading dates back to my childhood days. Throughout the years I have felt compelled to express my passion through words, but never had the opportunity to pursue it. Life, work, motherhood along with everyday struggles steered me in other directions.
Becoming a grandmother has given me a second chance. It has inspired me to challenge myself and pursue my dreams. Mandy, Princess of La La Land “The Green Monster” expresses a significant part of my childhood, exposing the ugly truth about living under a restricting regime. The story conveys the importance of family and friendship, while emphasizing that love conquers all.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

"Mandy Princess of La La Land" is a fable/fantasy for children. Mandy and her cousins are very much attached to their abuela, which is Spanish for grandmother, who reads to them and tells them stories of Cuba, where she had grown up. She tells them of a green monster who had enslaved the people of Cuba, and Mandy imagines how she and her cousins could conquer the monster and free the children of Cuba. Mandy has a great imagination -- she gives each child superpowers and skills to help them in their quest.

This children's book is very well-written and will captivate the imagination of children easily. The illustrations are superbly done and both the author Lourdes Rodriguez and the illustrators Lourdes Rodriguez and Mary Connors should be congratulated for their work. Each drawing is a little work of art, brilliantly colored and rich in detail. This is the kind of book an abuela or abuelo would spread out on their lap so that their grandchildren could see the pictures as they are hearing the story. While the children are filled with ideas on how to conquer the monster, their abuela counsels them to conquer with love. I found "Mandy Princess of La La Land" to be well-written, entertaining and superbly illustrated.

Joy Hannabass

This is the story of a little girl named Mandy, who lives in a small house in the deep forest with her family. Mandy loved her parents, but most of all she loved her very special Abuela, which is Spanish for grandmother. Abuela would tell Mandy and her cousins stories about Cuba, the land she grew up in, and they especially loved a story she would often tell them about a big, green monster. This green monster was very different and ugly, and Mandy would often dream of this monster and she would also dream of magical ways to get rid of him. Join Mandy and her cousins and their friends as they decide the best way to take care of this big, green, ugly monster.

"Mandy, Princess of La La Land: The Green Monster” is a cute and fun story for children to read. I like how the story shows the vivid magical imagination of children as they work together to make up fun and enjoyable things to do. And I love the relationship between Abuela and her grandchildren. She was fun, loving and enjoyed her family, and the children found her interesting and loved spending time with her. And the cute and colorful illustrations fit well with this story because it helps children to understand the story better, and make the book very eye-catching inside and out. I highly recommend this book for your child's library, and this would be wonderful for a school library as well.

Maria Beltran

Mandy Princess of La La Land and her grandmother are close to each other and like to play pretend. Her cousins, Nathan and Aiden, usually join them in these games. Their grandmother is also fond of telling them stories about a green monster who stole food, toys, and Christmas from the islanders. Worst, he also stole their freedom. Having a vivid imagination, Mandy dreams of rescuing the children from the island by capturing the green monster with the help of her cousins and their friends, Katie and Kenny. The children's adventure starts here and the question is what they will do to the green monster when they capture him.

Lourdes Rodriguez was born in 1958 during the rise of the regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba. This book is actually based on the nightmares of her childhood. It is interesting to note that she chose to write a children's story to make a social commentary on the communist rulers represented by the green monster of her native Cuba. On the other hand, it makes the story more poignant because it is being told from the point of view of a little girl. It must be horrible for a child, who is used to celebrate Christmas, to find out that it is not allowed anymore. It is, however, more horrible for a grandmother, now living in relative prosperity, to imagine children in Cuba not being able to enjoy simple joys like a piece of cake and some toys. This book will open the eyes, not only of the Cuban children now living in the United States of America, but also of all the children in the world, that most things they take for granted are not available for the others who are less fortunate. Written in simple words and beautifully illustrated by the author and Mary Connors, the message of this children's book will tug at the hearts of readers of all ages.