There’s A Coqui In My Shoe

Full Color • 9″ by 12″ • 64 pages • Ages 8 to 12 • Hard Cover

Publication Date: December 2007
Story by: Marisa de Jesus Paolicelli
Illustrated by: Tanja Bauerle
Published by: Chi Chi Rodriguez Books
ISBN-13: 978-0-9797641-0-3

There’s a Coquí in My Shoe! will appeal to children of all backgrounds. In addition, children will be amused with finding hidden objects throughout the illustrations.

There’s a Coquí in My Shoe! is a distinctive and delightful story celebrating Puerto Rico’s national treasure, the Eleutherodactylus (El-oo-thear-oh-dak-till-us) coqui (co-kee). It splendidly captures, in breathtaking illustrations, the vibrant color, culture, flora (plant kingdom), and fauna (animal kingdom) of the island.

A young boy named Armando surprisingly discovers a coquí in his red shoe. Carlito the Coquí is lost and cannot find his way home to the rain forest. Armando befriends Carlito and anxiously waits for the following day to accompany his mother, Lola, to sell their pushcart of piragüas (pee-rah-gwas) (snow cones) to the Puerto Rican children.

The entire book is filled with the wonderful, colorful illustrations of Tanja Bauerle. There are also several appendices with references, other fun facts and a complete list of the 17 known species of coquís.

In addition, Cosmopolitan Latina’s Deputy Editor, Corrine Giffith-Cole, chose There’s a Coquí in My Shoe! as a Fall favorite in its Fall 2013 issue!

Awards & Recognition

International Latino Book Awards Winner:
1st Place – Best Educational Children’s Book (English)
2nd Place – Best Children’s Picture Book (English)

Latino Books Into Movies Award Winner:
1st Place in Animation Category – Children’s Books Into Movies Award

International Book Awards Winner:
Winner – Children’s Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction
Finalist – Children’s Fiction

USA Best Book Awards Winner:
Winner – Children’s Educational Picture Book

Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards Winner:
Best Multicultural Children’s Picture Book

New York Book Festival Awards Winner:
Honorable Mention – Children’s Picture Book

Hollywood Book Festival Awards Winner:
Honorable Mention – Children’s Picture Book

Los Angeles Book Festival Awards Winner:
Runner Up – Children’s Picture Book


“A truly lovely story that should be enjoyed by children of all ethnic backgrounds.” —Rita Moreno, World renowned actress and Oscar, Tony and Grammy winner.

“Inspiring! A story that children everywhere will enjoy!” —Juan “Chi Chi” Rodriguez, Golf Legend, Inductee into the World Humanitarian Hall of Fame and Golf Hall of Fame in the US and Puerto Rice

“This enchanting story tells of a lost coqui struggling to find his way home. Paolicelli is a Bethlehem native proud to share her Caribbean heritage. Readers will have fun finding hidden objects in the pictures.” —The Morning Call – Top Five Local Bestsellers April 5, 2009

“Colorful illustrations full of surprises and the melodious storyline make this and exciting way for children to learn about the nature and culture of the enchanted island.” —Puerto Rico Daily Sun – October 23, 2008

Fun Facts

  • Originally there were 17 coqui frog species in Puerto Rico. Three are believed to be extinct and many of remaining species are rare and declining. All 17 of the original Puerto Rican Coquis are represented in There’s a Coquí in My Shoe.
  • The El Yunque National Forest is the only rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System.
  • The smallest Puerto Rican coqui Species is the Elfin Coqui. The largest is the Webbed Coqui.

Interviews & Articles