The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Uruguay

Las onomatobellas


Kaufman, Ruth (text)
Ycaza, Roger (illus.)
[Colonia de Sacramento]: Amanuense, 2018. – 33 p.
ISBN 978-997-4883-27-7

Onomatopoeia  | Sound  | Language  | Poetry  | Picture book

Reading age: 7+

White Ravens issue: 2019


Onomatopoeia, which refers to verbal constructions and interjections that imitate sounds, presumably is a phenomenon found in all languages, because such constructions are easy to comprehend and make speech more immediate and sensorially grounded. Argentinian author Ruth Kaufman tracks these human-made onomatopoeic constructions and makes them into the protagonists for this book’s 25 stories. So, for instance, there is the “bla bla bla” of empty chatter, the “plic plic plic” of rain drops, the “¡Pum!” of a door, and the “Ra-ta-ta-tá!” of popcorn popping in a hot pot. All these sounds along with “Chap” and “Crac,” “Jo jo jo” and “Ju ju ju,” as well as the similar-sounding “Glu glu glu” (swallowing while drinking) and “Gluglú” (a turkey’s gobble gobble) are listed and explained in a glossary at the end of the book. Ecuadorian illustrator Roger Ycaza freely plays off the amusing texts. His pictures, which mostly show animal characters in action, are funny, cheerful, vivacious, and lend the verses extra momentum.