Carmela Full of Wishes

by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson

On her birthday, Carmela is finally old enough to accompany her brother as he runs... read more

On her birthday, Carmela is finally old enough to accompany her brother as he runs errands in town. Carmela rides her scooter and jingles her bracelets, annoying her brother as he pushes his cart to the laundromat, locksmith shop, and bodega. When Carmela picks up a fluffy white dandelion, her brother bossily informs her that she must make a wish before blowing on the seeds. Carmela imagines her mother being able to sleep in nice hotel beds instead of making them. She imagines her father returning home, “papers fixed.” Before she has a chance to decide on a wish, she falls, crushing her dandelion. Her brother guides her to the sea, encouraging her to wish among the thousands of dandelion seeds floating in the air. Earth-tone acrylic and collage illustrations show a Latinx community, and Carmela’s wishes are depicted in papel picado designs. A typical, contentious-but-loving sibling relationship unfolds through a narrative that makes excellent use of descriptive language and varied sentence structure and length. Highly Commended, 2019 Charlotte Zolotow Award (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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