I suppose I should be pleased that the cat in Caroline Lazo's charming picture book Someday When My Cat Can Talk (illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker; Schwartz and Wade, 2008) made it to Spain on his European adventure at all. But here's what he has to say about it:
He'll talk about events in Spain--
like bullfights every spring.
And he'll praise himself for stopping one
by jumping in the ring.
At the back of the book, Lazo notes that "[b]ullfighting is Spain's best known and most-unusual spectacle, but today many people think it is cruel to kill bulls--or any animals--for sport, and hope it will end soon." While I'm not accusing Lazo of perpetuating the leyenda negra in picture book form, I'm disappointed that she chose bullfighting to represent Spain. No other country is represented negatively. Next time, may I suggest that the cat make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, read Don Quijote, dance flamenco or visit the Alhambra instead?