Story and Pictures by Amelia Lau Carling
In 1938, Carling’s parents fled from war in China and emigrated to Guatemala City. Her memoir of a typical childhood day begins when Amelia hears her father opening the shop’s red doors. Outside she sees vendors setting up paintings and sweets. Inside, Santiago and Maria have come from their Indian village to choose colored thread for weaving gorgeous Mayan designs. Amelia watches Mama cooking lunch--she smells fish sizzling alongside piles of corn tortillas. Later, her siblings sail paper boats in the street after a sudden rainstorm. (When the power goes out, Papa lights gas lamps; the children make shadow puppets with flashlights.) Now it’s time to wait on the many customers, as Papa counts with his abacus. The day ends with Amelia dancing on the tiled floor--“Clic, clac, clac.” Lovely watercolors evoke sounds, smells, tastes, and beautiful patterns--a feast for the senses! Sampling traditions from Spanish, Mayan, and Chinese cultures, readers learn about an immigrant family’s contributions to their adopted country.
2016, Ages 7 up
Check it out from your library using the library catalog. Donate to an improved Sebastopol Regional Library here.
Recommended by: Barbara Talcroft
Barbara Talcroft reviews children’s books professionally for childrenslit.com and for Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database. She has a Master’s degree in International Children’s Literature. She also has many years’ experience as a teacher. Barbara is one of the founders of LANTERN and its past chairperson.