From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2–On a cold morning, Miguel wakes up to the sound of raindrops dripping from the hole in the roof of his house. Outside, he overhears his father's worried prayer in which he asks God for a new roof, firewood he needs for his pastry business, and clothes for his family. Without these things, they will not survive. Together, Miguel and his father fill a large sack with already made pastries, and they journey to three nearby villages where they hope to sell them. When they enter each village, Papa sings and the villagers sing, dance, and clap along with him, for he is well known for his beautiful voice. But times are hard, and no one has money for his wares. When he notices villagers who need help, he ends up giving all his pastries away. When he returns home, Mama is clearly exasperated. The next morning brings a heartwarming solution to the family's woes as neighbors from the three villages come to visit and use their various talents to repay Papa's kindness. That night, Miguel prays, “Thank you for your loving kindness. And thank you, Lord, for my Papa. Amen.” Soft, sweet illustrations accompany this gentle story. The use of Spanish words and the pictures of the people, landscape, village scenes, and clothing suggest that the setting is Mexico or perhaps, a South American country.–Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OHα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Good deeds and faith play a major role in this parable about trusting in providence. Young Miguel and his family live in a small house with a leaky roof. Winter is coming, firewood is scarce, and the children’s clothes are worn thin. Papa is sure, though, that when he brings his last batch of pastries to market, the money he makes will be more than sufficient. Alas, Miguel, accompanying his father, grows more and more anxious when, in village after village, no one buys the treats, citing their own hardships. What is worse, kindhearted Papa keeps giving away pastries to people with hard-luck stories. “Kindness is far more valuable than money,” Papa says. Reward comes the next day when the pastries’ recipients respond to the family’s need in kind. Although the story is predictable, its Mexican-countryside setting sets it apart. Lamut’s idealized illustrations portray warm characters in traditional costumes, dancing, singing, and marketing. A good choice for collections where there is demand for religion-themed stories. Preschool-Grade 1. --Karen Cruze