Tia Isa Wants a Car (Paperback)
“A pleasant selection about ambition, resourcefulness, and never letting go of one’s dreams.” — School Library Journal
While Tía Isa wants to save money for a car that will take the whole family to the beach, her niece does odd jobs for neighbors. But it’s hard to save enough when half the money is set aside to someday bring family members who live far away to join them. 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.
About the Author
Meg Medina, the 2023–2024 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is a Cuban American author who writes for readers of all ages. Her middle-grade novel Merci Suárez Changes Gears received a Newbery Medal and was a New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of the Year, among many other distinctions. Its sequel, Merci Suárez Can’t Dance, received five starred reviews, while Merci Suárez Plays It Cool received four stars, with Kirkus Reviews calling it “a fabulous finale to a memorable trilogy.” Her most recent picture book, Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away, received honors including a Charlotte Zolotow Award and was the 2020 Jumpstart Read for the Record selection, reaching 2.24 million readers. She received a Pura Belpré Author Award Honor for her picture book Mango, Abuela, and Me. Her young adult novel Burn Baby Burn earned numerous distinctions, including being long-listed for the National Book Award and short-listed for the Kirkus Prize. Meg Medina received a Pura Belpré Author Award and a Cybils Award for her young adult novel Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, which has been adapted and illustrated as a graphic novel by Mel Valentine Vargas. She also received an Ezra Jack Keats Writer Award for her picture book Tía Isa Wants a Car. When she is not writing, Meg Medina works on community projects that support girls, Latino youth, and literacy. She lives with her family 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.
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.