Book Review: Tia Isa Wants a Car

“Tia Isa Wants a Car” by Meg Medina, Illustrated by Cludio Munoz

When they are read out loud, stories take on a life more akin to the stage than the library. I experienced a wonderful reminder of this when I had the good fortune to hear Meg read her book “Tia Isa Wants a Car” at her BBGB book signing.

The best elements in a family drama unfold visually in Claudio Munoz’ beautiful illustrations. Filled with light and movement, the images evoke the sun-filled island of the little girl’s parents and relatives, as well as her own urban world.But when we hear the story, we are bathed in the lilting rhythms of English, sprinkled with Spanish, spinning into our ears and imagination.

Tia Isa, the little girl’s aunt, decides to buy a car, a family first. Her niece never doubts this is possible, in spite of her uncle’s derision and the enormous cost. Their first priority is to send money home for the family waiting to join them from across the sea. How can they save enough money to buy a car? Little by little, of course.The little girl finds several small jobs and it is her contribution that finally moves the “save for a car” pile over to the “buy” pile.

This simple story is layered with subtle messages about teamwork, the importance of family, keeping a larger goal in mind, patience and the rewards of perseverance. Like saving for a car, wrapping all these lessons into a small book is quite an accomplishment and it is very well done.

Leave a comment on our blog any time this week and you could win a copy of this delightful picture book. One winner will be chosen at the end of the week. We know you’ll love this book as much as we do!

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