- Age Range: 3 - 7 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 2
- Lexile Measure: 630L (What's this?)
- Series: Junior Library Guild Selection
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick (June 14, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763641561
- ISBN-13: 978-0763641566
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tia Isa Wants a Car (Junior Library Guild Selection) Hardcover – June 14, 2011
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The strength of family and the importance of pursuing one's dreams are the bedrock of middle-grade author Medina's (Milagros: Girl from Away) lyrical first picture book.
Besides the pleasant story, the interwoven Spanish and references to “Helping Money” and families divided by immigration may make the book particularly appealing to immigrant Latino children.
The use of Spanish words throughout the book offers a learning tool, and the book can be used to show teamwork and determination. The watercolor illustrations reflect the fun, loving text in this appealing book.
—Library Media Connection
Always true to the child’s viewpoint, the story shows how hard it is to be separated from loved ones and how long it can take to reunite, and the lively, unframed illustrations in pencil, watercolor, and ink extend the sense of warmth and longing, first in the small room the girl shares with her aunt, then in the climax of everyone rushing into the waves, together at last.
The soft watercolor illustrations mirror rather than extend the text, a real strength for children more fluent in Spanish than English; they can visually follow the narrative told primarily in English but sprinkled with familiar phrases. Beginning readers will also find a satisfying story, with illustrations aiding their reading.
A pleasant selection about ambition, resourcefulness, and never letting go of one’s dreams.
—School Library Journal
The picture of family life is easygoing but evocative, with Spanish words in dialogue effectively woven into the English text, and the close comradeship between the glamorous young aunt and the narrator is one that many youngsters will envy... Anybody who's felt trapped at home in a hot summer will recognize the lure of freedom and the glee of an open-air drive.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
This gentle story about the unbreakable bonds of family (and the joy of a sweet set of wheels) is as refreshing as a cool sea breeze on a summer day, and a lovely way to start a conversation with a youngster about their own family history.
About the Author
Meg Medina is the author of the middle-grade novel Milagros: Girl from Away. The idea for her first picture book began with the true story of her family’s first car. She grew up in Queens, New York, and now lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Claudio Muñoz is an award-winning illustrator who has worked for many newspapers and magazines as well as illustrating several children’s books. Born in Chile, he now lives in England.
Top customer reviews
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This is a story that all ages will love from children to adults because of it's beautiful illustrations and it's wonderful message. Being a "car girl" myself, I absolutely related to Tia Isa. One of the things I prided myself on when I was younger was owning my very own car that I paid for entirely on my own. It took a great deal of work and steady long hours at a job I wasn't always incredibly fond of, but my car was something that made it all worth it.
For Tia Isa and her niece, the car is not only a source of pride after long hours of work, but also a symbol of freedom. Freedom to drive where they choose and freedom to have the opportunity to purchase the car in the first place. I think that's the thing that continually surprises me about reading children's books, is that they have so many themes and opportunities to learn. In Tia Isa Wants A Car it's not only a wonderful message about the value of a good work ethic, but also about appreciating the freedoms we have and learning to value those around us.
Meg Medina has shared a seemingly simple story of a girl with a longing for a car of her own, but in the process has created a beautiful life from which we can learn so much from as adults & children. Tia Isa Wants A Car is a story about freedom, work ethic, sharing, kindness, joy and more. Filled with rich illustrations by Claudio Munoz, readers will be transported to a world years away but feel as though they know the characters before their eyes. Readers of Hispanic descent will be especially thrilled at the life and history shared in relation to Tia Isa's life. This is a picture book that should be shared with both children and adults, if for no other reason than to remember to live the lives we have to the fullest enjoying every moment the best we can no matter our situation.
Originally reviewed and copyrighted at my review site, There's A Book.
While numerous picture books have addressed the topic of saving, Tía Isa Wants a Car stands apart with its additional focus on immigration and remittances. Reflecting the economic reality of numerous Latinas in the United States, Tía Isa immigrated to the U.S. but still sends money home to support her family. The expressive illustrations and inclusion of Spanish dialogue add to the book's appeal and make it an excellent addition to any collection of picture books with substantive content.
"Tia Isa wants a car.
She tells me after work when she still smells of lemon pies from the bakery.
She is turning the jump rope that's tied to the fence and I am already up to twenty.
`Un pisicorre,' she says, `to take us to the beach!'
`Really? The beach' I can't catch my breath.
No one goes far from my block in the summer. But a beach has foamy water that reaches all the places I cannot go.
`Si, really. Let's save.'