Carmela Full of Wishes
Carmela Full of Wishes By Matt de la Peña, Illustrated by Christian Robinson (2018) – Hardcover

MiJa Books



Recommended ages: 4 to 8
Reading Level: Lexile 630L

It’s Carmela’s birthday! She’s finally old enough to spend the day exploring the town with her brother. Along the way, she finds a dandelion, and her imaginative mind explores the endless possible wishes she could make before she blows it out.

Although there is no explicit description of origin and race, there are plenty of implications that this is a story about a Hispanic, immigrant family. Carmela’s mom calls her mija, and Carmela imagines “her dad getting his papers fixed so he could finally be home.” In Christian Robinson’s illustrations, you’ll find subtle notes of a typical Hispanic neighborhood, including the elote lady, the 99cent discount store, and graffiti on the walls. I like the unique touch on the cover art to make just the image of Carmela glossy, making her literally shine, while the rest of the cover has a matte finish.

Take-away message: Carmela is worried that she’ll squander her opportunity with the one dandelion and make the wrong wish. But her brother ultimately shows her that when one dream gets crushed and you lose hope, there are plenty of other opportunities around the corner.

TAGS: Latinx, female lead, siblings, Spanish edition, hardcover

The Spanish edition, Los Deseos de Carmela, is available for purchase in our MiJa Books Shop!
Los Deseos de Carmela

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