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Tía Isa Wants a Car

by Meg Medina
Illustrated by Claudio Muñoz

Published by Candlewick Press, 2011
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4156-6

Ages 4-8

“Tía Isa wants a car.” But there’s no quick gratification for either Tía Isa or her niece, the young narrator of this satisfying story. Even though Tía Isa has been saving, she doesn’t yet have enough money for the car she dreams of buying: “‘The same shiny green as the ocean that lapped outside my bedroom window,’ she says. When Tía Isa was a girl, the air on her island smelled of wet palm fronds and mud.” Tía Isa keeps saving, and eventually her niece gets odd jobs in the neighborhood and starts saving, too. In the end, enough time has passed that not only does Tía Isa get her car, but the girl’s parents are finally home again from their native country, where they’d been caring for her ill abuela. Wonderful descriptions and an abundance of warmth distinguish this story of family, community, love, and longing eventually fulfilled. Spanish words are woven seamlessly into the narrative and defined in context, while the illustrations extend the sense of warmth and add cultural details to the story. Highly Commended, 2012 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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