ABC de Puerto Rico

It  was not my intention to do two books with woodcut illustrations back to back, but ABC de Puerto Rico is such a great book. I can't read much of it (it's written in Spanish), but that's okay, I bought it because of the illustrations. This ABC book was written and designed for Puerto Rican children, reflecting their culture and language.  ABC de Puerto Rico has a strong graphic sense in the way type is used in interesting variations; whether combined with images, a part of a image or on its own. I like the way that the grain of the wood shows through in many of the illustrations. ABC de Puerto Rico written by Ruben del Rosario, Isabel Freire de Matos and illustrated by Antonio Martorell.

Antonio Martorell is a painter, illustrator, draughtsman, printmaker, graphic artist, performance artist, writer and radio and television personality. He was born on April 18, 1939 in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Martorell studied diplomacy at Georgetown University in Washington D.C  and painting in Spain under Julio Martin Caro. In Puerto Rico, he worked with Lorenzo Homar at the graphic arts workshop of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture. He was the winner of the "Bienal de Arte San Juan". ABC de Puerto Rico, published by Troutman Press in 1968, was later burned by the Educational Department of Puerto Rico under Governor Carlos Romero Barcelo's administration. 

Martorell is currently the Resident Artist of the University of Puerto Rico and directs the Ramon Frade Museum there. As a writer he has written books such as The Skin of Memory, and The Drawn Book. He has illustrated books of several authors including Alma Rosa Flor, Heraclio Cepeda, Nicholasa Mohr and Pura Belpre. He currently writes a column for Escenario, a section of Puerto Rican newspaper El Vocero. He exhibits regularly in Puerto Rico and the United States and participates in arts events around the globe. 


  1. Amazing. Art should never be banned from people's voices and less from politics.

  2. I'm so glad I stumbled on your article on Google. My family is from Puerto Rico and had no idea this even existed. It's incredibly sad that this isn't widely known of throughout the island. I would love to know how you were able to purchase the book.

    Best regards,