Today I’m participating in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. Be sure to check it out here.
I have a basket of picture books by my desk that I dip into and out of all the time. They are books that fill me with joy or books that help me be a better writer. Some of the titles may rotate depending on the project I’m working on or to make room for something new, but some stay as old friends. Carmela Full of Wishes has a permanent spot in my basket.
Title: Carmela Full of Wishes
Author: Matt de la Peña
Illustrator: Christian Robinson
Publisher: G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 2018
Audience: Ages 5-8 and up
Themes: Family, hope, community
Opening lines: Carmela scootered along the uneven dirt path, watching men stoop to work with their hands, her birthday bracelets jingling and jangling. The thick greenhouse air smelled of marigolds and overturned earth and fresh manure.
Synopsis: (from Amazon) When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true–she’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they travel through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería, until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish.
Why I Like This Book: Carmela Full of Wishes Is a book where all children can see themselves and relate to Carmela’s relationship with her brother and her need to understand the just-right wish to make. The text provides numerous examples that aspiring writers and teachers of writing can use to illustrate successful writing strategies – word choice, structure, pacing, and character development to name just a few. The art pares beautifully with the text to add another rich layer. This book sings with heart!
For Susanna’s complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.