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Estela's Swap School & Library Binding – September, 2002

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 480L (What's this?)
  • School & Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books (September 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584300442
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584300441
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,601,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-A Hispanic child joins her father and brother at their Swap Meet stall, hoping to sell her music box to earn the last $10 she needs to pay for folk-dancing lessons. Estela meets an older woman who sells paper flowers and is sewing a falda (skirt), and who admires the music box and its sounds that remind her of her childhood. When a strong wind creates a chaos of tumbled goods, tents, and tarps, the flower seller's wares are gone. In a gesture of generosity and compassion, the little girl gives her the treasured box so she can listen to the music as she makes more flowers. At the end of the day, the older woman presents Estela with the falda as a swap for her music box, creating a satisfying end to a day of excitement. O'Neill subtly weaves details of trades and bargaining into the fabric of her story to give readers a tangible taste of swaps or flea markets. Sanchez uses richly colored, bright acrylics to render the energy and bustle of a Swap Meet in his full-bleed illustrations. The text is skillfully incorporated into the illustrations and the focus on each spread remains firmly on the plucky heroine. All in all, a wonderful bargain.
Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. It's early Sunday morning at the Santa Ana Swap Meet, and Estela is excited. Today she hopes to sell something--a music box--for the first time, and then use the money for dance lessons. Watching her father she learns how to bargain, but she can't find a buyer for her own item. Another vendor admires the music box, just as Estela admires the dancing skirt that the vendor is sewing. There's no exchange of money; instead, Estela and the vendor trade the box and skirt as gifts. Like Juan Felipe Herrera's Grandma and Me at the Flea [BKL Ap 1 02], this is a warm, nicely paced story about sharing and bartering that's filled with sensory descriptions of the vibrant open market. The textured acrylics capture the hum and bustle of the stalls, but the colorful scenery doesn't overwhelm the story; Sanchez paints the characters in sharp focus, so that they pop out against the blurred, evocative background scenes. A good starting point for classroom discussion across the curriculum. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cassandra on April 17, 2004
Format: School & Library Binding
My four year old loves this story about a young girl trying to raise money for dance lessons. Estela is an independent, spirited little girl with a good heart. Our bedtime readings of this story has prompted meaningful discussions about empathy. It's a great book for your family collection.
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More About the Author

Alexis O'Neill is the author of picture books that deal with friendship in various shapes and sizes. Among those books, THE RECESS QUEEN (Scholastic) has been nominated for eleven state readers' choice awards and has won in two states. This book about a playground bully has also been translated into Chinese (how do you say, "lollapaloosh" in Chinese?), Korean (how do you say, "kitz and kajammer" in Korean?) and French (oo-la-la!).

In addition to earning starred reviews, her first picture book, LOUD EMILY (Simon & Schuster) was included on the list of "Yankee Magazine 100 Classic New England Children's Books." This honor was especially meaningful to her as she was born in Boston & raised in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Now that she lives in California, she is excited that her book, ESTELA'S SWAP (Lee & Low), about an intergenerational friendship at a California swap meet, has struck a chord with dedicated readers. Her newest book, THE KITE THAT BRIDGED TWO NATIONS (Calkins Creek)is based on the dramatic,true story of how a boy, using his kite, laid the first line for the first suspension bridge over the Niagara River in 1848

Alexis has also written for a variety of magazines including Cricket, Spider, Cobblestone, Calliope, Faces, and Writer's Digest. She teaches at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and has been organizing SCBWI events for writers & illustrators in Central/Coastal California soince 1995. She has a B.S. from Skidmore College, an M.S and Ph.D. from Syracuse University and was sent to the University of London on a Rotary International Fellowship. Among her adventures, she was named Miss Kitchen of Swiftcurrent Inn at Glacier National Park, won a spot in the last Girl Scout Roundup in Idaho, and has led multiple theater trips to Ireland. She loves photography, swimming, theater, the Erie Canal, American history, cats and her husband, David.

An expert presenter, Alexis l-o-v-e-s meeting kids all over the country through school visits, showing them how to read and write with their whole body.