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Let’s Go See Papá!

by Lawrence Schimel
Illustrated by Alba Marina Rivera
Translated by Elisa Amado from the Spanish

Published by Groundwood, 2011
40 pages
ISBN: trade 978–1–55498–106–9

Ages 5-9

A young Latina girl who hasn’t seen her papá in “one year, eight months and twenty-two days” is excited to learn in his weekly phone call that she and her mamá will be going to live with him in the United States. As time passes and they prepare to leave, it never occurs to the girl that her dog Kika won’t be coming. It’s heartbreak when she discovers the truth: Kika, like Abuela, will stay behind. Lawrence Schimel’s child-centered story about immigration is full of small, revealing details that bring the girl’s family and feelings into full relief. In the end, the girl’s grief at saying goodbye to Kika and her Abuela is tempered by knowing she’ll soon see her papá. And the journal she starts on the plane—to tell Abuela about everything that’s happening—mirrors the one she kept for her papá. A mix of sophisticated and childlike elements in the illustrations provide additional background details in a story that children can relate to on many levels.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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