A young girl realizes that moving to the United States to live with her father means leaving familiarity behind.
“I haven’t seen my papá for one year, eight months and twenty-two days.” Her father moved away to earn money to send back to his family. Since Sundays are the cheapest day for long-distance phone calls, that day is special to the girl, her mamá and her abuela. The three live together in an unnamed, presumably Latin American country. She keeps a notebook of all the things Papá is missing and reminisces about the times they spent walking their dog Kika. One Sunday, Papá tells his daughter that she and Mamá will finally be able to come live with him in the United States. While she is happy at the prospect of living with her father again, she is also has trepidations about leaving Abuela, Kika and her best friend Rocío behind. Schimel takes readers into the mind of the unnamed girl through his skillful use of the first-person narration, while Rivera’s mixed-media illustrations combine traditional materials with photocopies and transfers to give some pages a scrapbooklike appeal. Readers will enjoy deciphering the various visual elements.
While this is clearly a much-needed story that effectively captures the experience faced by many immigrant families, its themes are relevant to all children. (Picture book. 4-8)