Bartolomé The Infantina’s Pet


imageMadrid is a harsh place for a dwarf named Bartolomé. He is seen as incapable and worthless due to his deformities. When Bartolomé moves to the city with his family, he is hidden in a back room so as to not be seen. One day while Jeronima, a 20 year old neighbor who has an intellectual disability, is carrying Bartolomé back from secret reading and writing lessons with a monk, Bartolomé tumbles out of the laundry basket and into the path of the royal carriage of the Infanta, the king’s daughter. The Infanta gets out of the carriage and gazes upon Bartolomé, perceiving him as a human dog and plans to make him into another one of her playthings. Now having lost his dignity, Bartolomé must be dressed up daily as a dog to please the Infanta. Andrés is the painter’s apprentice who is in charge of painting Bartolomé’s face. Kindly, he teaches Bartolomé how to make paint and even allows him to create his own work of art which is beautiful and meaningful. With the help of his family and members of the painters’ guild, a clever magic trick allows Bartolomé to be free from his degrading work and he becomes a painter’s apprentice himself. This story takes place during the 17th century and explores the intolerance of individuals with disabilities while a hopeful tone shines through. cc
Title: Bartolomé The Infanta’s Pet
Author: Rachel Van Kooij
: Little Island
: 2012
Original Language
: German
: Siobhán Parkinson
Original Title
: Kein Hundeleben für Bartolomé
Original Publisher
: Jungbrunnen Verlag
Original Copyright
: 2003
: 978-1-908195-26-5
Paperback pages
: 208
Age range
: 12 up
: Historical fiction
Book setting
: Madrid, Spain
Author’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Author’s residence
: Austria
: 17th century, Disabilities, Discrimination, Dwarfs, Families, Madrid, Spain

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