In Brown’s latest bilingual offering, a grumpy little Latina girl gets a subtle lesson in caring, sharing and the pleasures of reading.
Clara is tired of taking out the trash, sharing her things with her seven siblings and reading a book for school each week. Exasperated by her daughter’s grumpiness, Mami sends the girl to the wise curandera (healer) in their building. The curandera tells Clara that she must take out her family’s trash, along with the trash of two of her neighbors. She must also give her favorite toys to her siblings, and she must read five books that week. Unwilling to disobey, Clara follows the woman’s orders, and readers will see the changes Clara misses. Her neighbors shower her with hugs and compliments for taking out their trash. Her brothers and sisters, amazed at their sister’s generosity, invite Clara to play all week. At the library, she discovers books that she really wants to read. In fact, she stops frowning. When the curandera’s assigned tasks end and Clara returns to her grumpy old self, she has just the epiphany the curandera knew she would. Well-translated Spanish text is set below the English text through most of the book, with Muriada’s colorful mixed-media illustrations on the facing pages.
A charming tale almost any child (and parent) can relate to. (Picture book. 4-7)