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The Best Family in the World Hardcover – January 1, 2010
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—Carlota, an orphan who looks to be about five or six, dreams of being adopted by "the best family in the world." Her fantasies are wistful, even outlandish, but believable for a child this age. She longs to "live in a pastry shop," or with a family of pirates, or circus performers, or even astronauts. Soon, she meets her adoptive family, a sweet, but rather typical-looking group. Here LÃ³pez and Wensell display their flair for conveying the essence of how a child's mind can work. Although Carlota's adoptive father is an insurance agent, not a pirate, "he loves digging for buried treasure in the vacant lot next door." Her mother, not a baker but a postal worker, sometimes brings her "a pastry for an afternoon snack." Carlota is pictured sprawling on a coach, her head on her mother's lap, munching on a treat. Her brother is a stand-in for astronauts when he decorates her ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stars. The illustrations feature vibrant color and capture Carlota's whimsical musings as well as her eventual joyful embrace of her new, loving relatives. Unlike numerous adoption stories that focus attention on the adoptive family's anticipation, this one explores the inner life of a child waiting to be adopted. The ending shows a very contented Carlota whose dreams have come true in a circuitous, but oh-so-satisfying, way.—Deborah Vose, East Middle School and South Middle School, Braintree, MA
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
About the Author
Susana López was born in Madrid, Spain, and lives there today. She writes scripts for Spanish television and has won several awards for her work.
Ulises Wensell originally trained as a chemical engineer, but has won numerous international awards for his work as a self-taught painter and illustrator. In 2008, he was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and, in 2009, for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.
Top customer reviews
Carlota is notified by the orphanage's director that a family has chosen to adopt her. Immediately, the wheels in her head start turning and she can't help wondering what her new family will be like. Carlota is very imaginative, and her mind races from one extreme scenario to the next. What if they are a family of pastry chefs? She could grow up surrounded by big, beautiful cakes and mounds of cookies. What a fanciful life that would be!
Or better yet, what if Carlota's new family were pirates? They would wear black eye patches and dig for buried treasure, sailing off through the sunset on their pirate ship in search of adventures. There couldn't be anything more exciting than that ... unless these newcomers are a family of tiger trainers. Wrestling with Bengal tiger cubs would be even better than swashbuckling sailors. Each scenario that Carlota comes up with more amazing than the last
The Perez family arrives to adopt Carlota. They are a warm, loving family who are eager to welcome their new daughter and sister. No, they are not pastry chefs, but they do surprise Carlota with the occasional bakery treat. No, they are not pirates either, but they do enjoy digging for treasure in the backyard. Carlota's family does not meet any of her imagined scenarios, but rather exceeds them in every possible way.
This is a great book to introduce children to the concept of adoption. Often times we take for granted large concepts like these that young kids may struggle to understand. When you are little, it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that some children do not have families. This is an fanciful, easy way to embrace and understand adoption.