Tia Isa Wants a Car
Tia Isa Wants a Car
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Annotation: Tia Isa and her niece try to save enough money to buy a car to take the whole family to the beach.
Catalog Number: #5261771
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-4156-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-4156-6
Dewey: E
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The title is a chanting refrain in this picture book, which tells a timeless immigration story of an extended family coming to America from the viewpoint of a young Latina girl, who shares a room with her aunt, Tía Isa, in a city tenement. Tía Isa wants a car to get to the seashore, which reminds her of the beach she left behind on her island home. She can only save a little money, though, because she is sending financial support back to her faraway family to help bring them to the U.S. Secretly, the young narrator earns cash by getting small jobs in the neighborhood, and, finally, there is enough to buy a huge, old convertible for the whole family to enjoy. 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.
Horn Book
Following the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill, eleven-year-old aspiring ornithologist and "bird artist" Bouler created paintings in exchange for donations to the clean-up effort. Here she shares her love of birding, her own conservation efforts, and ways for others to take action. Though content is a little sparse, the book's message and design--including impressive original sketches--will successfully reach young environmentalists. Websites.
Kirkus Reviews
Tía Isa dreams of buying a big car, green like the ocean that surrounds the island that she, her brother Andrés and their niece left to move to the United States. Since most of their extra money goes to help the family still on the island, Tía Isa and her niece know it will take time. The car will not only get them to the beach but will also be large enough for the rest of the family, once they start moving to the States, too. As the unnamed first-person narrator, the niece starts telling people around the neighborhood about her aunt's dream and begins earning money by helping the produce man at his store, an elderly woman with her kittens and the librarian with her Spanish. Soon, they have enough saved. The car they choose is shiny green with plenty of room for the whole family. The two drive back to their apartment to celebrate the purchase with Tío Andrés. The last two pages show the young girl, now reunited with her parents, on the beach. Muñoz captures all of the action in watercolors accented with ink and pencil. 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. A pleasant tale of determination. (Picture book. 4-8)
School Library Journal
Gr 1&11;3&12; T&7;a Isa has a dream. She wants a car, a green one like the sea in her homeland. A vehicle that can take her family to different places, maybe to the beach, which is far from their urban dwelling. The problem is that she has no extra money. T&7;a Isa works at the bakery, she helps support her young niece, who lives in this country, and her family back home, and her brother scoffs at her notions. Isa is determined, however, to save up and to prove her brother wrong. They will have a car soon she tells her niece, the narrator. Obtaining it becomes the child's dream as well. As she goes about her days, she finds that people are ready and willing to pay for her help and her Spanish-language skills. Before long, the two find the perfect sea-foam green car. It has no air-conditioning and a bad radio, but it's just what they need to take everyone to the beach. Done in pencil, ink, and frequently complementary watercolors, this story is a pleasant selection about ambition, resourcefulness, and never letting go of one's dreams.&12; Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
Word Count: 1,086
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 143926 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.5 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q53855
Lexile: AD630L
Guided Reading Level: N

A little girl pitches in to help her tía save up for a big old car — and take the whole family to the beach — in a story told with warmth and sweetness.

Tía Isa wants a car. A shiny green car the same color as the ocean, with wings like a swooping bird. A car to take the whole family to the beach. But saving is hard when everything goes into two piles — one for here and one for Helping Money, so that family members who live far away might join them someday. While Tía Isa saves, her niece does odd jobs for neighbors so she can add her earnings to the stack. But even with her help, will they ever have enough? Meg Medina’s simple, genuine story about keeping in mind those who are far away is written in lovely, lyrical prose and brought to life through Claudio Muñoz’s charming characters.

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