Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

EconKids Home New Picture Books in 2010 (First Word A-I) Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin / by Duncan Tonatiuh

Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin / by Duncan Tonatiuh


Title: Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin
Author and Illustrator:  Duncan Tonatiuh
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 978-0-8109-3872-4
Year: 2010

Concepts: economic development, markets, immigration

Review:  Charlie and his cousin Carlitos may live in different countries, but they do not let the distance prevent each other from keeping in touch through letters.  Charlie shares how he enjoys playing basketball at the local court, stopping for a slice of pizza on the way home from school, and helping his mom to shop at the supermarket. Carlitos in turn writes about his routines of biking to school, playing fútbol with his friends, and helping his family to sell produce and buy food they need at the outdoor market.

With its illustrations inspired by ancient Mexican cultures and its parallel storylines, this book provides readers with an appealing account of some of the cultural and socioeconomic differences that children with similar interests may experience in different countries.  The author's note about his own background of migration from Mexico to the United States helps to place the story into a more personal context of understanding and appreciating one's identity as a Mexican American.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children 

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