Tomás and the Library Lady

by Pat Mora and Raúl Colón

When a family of migrant farm workers from Texas stops in Iowa to pick corn, Tomás's... read more

When a family of migrant farm workers from Texas stops in Iowa to pick corn, Tomás's grandfather, Papá Grande, suggests that he spend part of each day at the public library because it is filled with stories he can read and then bring back to share with the family at night. While Tomás expects to find good books at the library, he doesn't expect to find a new friend--but he does. From the beginning the librarian welcomes him. She shows him where the water fountain is, suggests books he might enjoy, and helps Tomás feel at home whenever he comes to the library. In return, Tomás teaches her some Spanish phrases and she is able to greet Papá Grande in Spanish when Tomás brings him to the library to meet his new friend. Based on an event that occurred in the childhood of national education leader Dr. Tomás Rivera, Pat Mora brings the story to life through excellent characterization and natural-sounding dialogue. Raul Colón's warm earthtone illustrations give a strong sense of action occurring in the past. Also available in a Spanish-language edition as Tomás y la Señora de la Biblioteca. (Ages 4-7)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1997

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