Reyna’s abuelito was a mariachi musician, and today his prized vihuela, a small, high-pitched guitar, hangs in her family’s restaurant.
When Reyna accidentally breaks the vihuela, she knows Mamá will be crushed, as the instrument brings back joyful memories of her father. Reyna decides to take it upon herself to fix the instrument before her mother discovers what has happened, reaching out to several adults in the community to ask for help. Though no one is able to help her exactly as she wishes, each contributes a memento that brings the memory of Abuelito and his mariachi music to life. She returns with her grandfather’s sombrero, a photo of the mariachi band, and a record of their music. Mamá and Reyna revel in the memory of Abuelito as they share his music with restaurant diners. Lee and Low New Voices Award winner Torres makes a charming debut. The adults in Reyna’s neighborhood are as caring and helpful as Reyna is tenderhearted. The illustrations are equally joyful, presenting a bustling, colorful, and diverse neighborhood. Small details make each setting come alive, such as the Mexican imagery decorating the restaurant walls. Bright colors and warm faces create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere.
An uplifting celebration of family, community, and culture. (author’s note) (Bilingual picture book. 6-9)