Letters exchanged between a San Antonio child and her distant grandfather create a link that bridges miles and years in this slight but loving family story.
So strong are memories of outings together and music on a requinto (guitar) played “with an almost angelic touch” that 11-year-old Camila tries to bicycle all the way to her grandpa in Mexico. When that fails, she writes: “I have the picture of you… on my dresser and I look at it every day. Will you please write back?” Eight years later (but with just a few quick samples of a continuing correspondence), she flies down at last for a joyful reunion, returning after a long stay with the requinto as a memento. Rough-hewn, heavily brushed paintings tracking Camila’s progress to adulthood and Grandpa’s to gray-haired old age accompany narrative passages of English over Spanish. These sometimes dart across several years without transition, and the book concludes with an open-ended scene that will leave readers unsure whether Grandpa is still alive or not.
Still, the intergenerational intimacy comes through clearly and should leave readers thinking about faraway relatives of their own. (picture glossary). (Bilingual picture book. 7-9)