Title: Tía Isa Wants a Car
Author: Meg Medina
Illustrator: Claudio Muñoz
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Concepts: saving, immigration, remittances
Review: Tía Isa knows what she wants, and she works hard to get it. Tía Isa wants a green car with wings so she can drive to the beach, and she has been saving all she can from her work at the bakery. Putting aside such a large amount, though, is difficult when half of her savings gets sent back home to help her family. Fortunately, Tía Isa’s niece is just as money savvy as her aunt, and together with her charm and good will, manages to take on several small jobs in the neighborhood. Will their combined efforts suffice to accumulate enough funds for that dream car?
While numerous picture books have addressed the topic of saving, Tía Isa Wants a Car stands apart with its additional focus on immigration and remittances. Reflecting the economic reality of numerous Latinas in the United States, Tía Isa immigrated to the U.S. but still sends money home to support her family. The expressive illustrations and inclusion of Spanish dialogue add to the book’s appeal and make it an excellent addition to any collection of picture books with substantive content.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children