Bartolome: The Infanta’s Pet

BartolomeBartolome is a ten-year-old disabled dwarf living in a small village in rural 17th century Spain. His family has to keep him hidden in a back room. His dream is to be able to read and write. When his father lands a job in the court of King Philip IV, the family moves to Madrid. The royal princess gets whatever she wants and she wants Bartolome as her “human dog.” He is dressed in a brown furry suit and is very scared, unhappy, and humiliated until he discovers the painter’s studio. One of the apprentices to Spanish artist Diego Velasquez lets Bartolome mix paints and paint a picture. The book shows how dwarfs were thought of and discriminated against in the 17th century. This heart-wrenching story was inspired by the painting Las Meninas, which was painted by Velasquez in 1656. Velasquez was employed as a court painter by Philip IV, where he frequently painted the royal family, especially the King’s daughter, the Infanta. mjw
Title: Bartolome: The Infanta’s Pet
Author: Rachel Van Kooij
Publisher
: Little Island.  Dublin, Ireland
Copyright
: 2012
Original Language
: German
Translator
: Sioban Parkinson
Original Title
: Kein Hundeleben fur Bartolome
Original Publisher
: Jungbrunnen Verlag.  Vienna
Original Copyright
: 2003
ISBN
: 978-1-908195-26-5
Paperback pages
: 208
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Spain
Author’s ethnicity
: Dutch
Author’s residence
: Vienna, Austria
Translator’s ethnicity
: Irish
Translator’s residence
: Dublin, Ireland
Awards
: Translator was Ireland’s first Children’s Laureate from 2010-2012.
Subjects
: Dwarfs; Europe; Madrid, Spain; Pets, Special needs: Velasquez

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