Title: Let's Go See Papá
Author: Lawrence Schimel
Illustrator: Alma Marina Rivera
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Concepts: immigration, jobs, opportunity cost, tradeoffs
Review: A young child shares a room with her mother at her abuela’s house while her papá has been working overseas. She has not seen her papá for almost two years and she misses him terribly, but at least he calls every Sunday. Sundays are also special because her mamá does not go to her job then and they can spend time together.
One particular Sunday phone call brings surprising news. Papá asked if his wife and daughter would join him in the United States. Although the child is delighted that she will see him again, she despairs at the thought of leaving her abuela and her pet dog Kika after all those precious days spent together.
This picture book conveys to young readers the many tradeoffs that come when parents try to balance the need to support their families financially with the desire to spend nurturing time together. The story provides parents and teachers a different context for talking with young learners about paid jobs, the labor that goes into caring for family members, and the costs of giving up time with family in order to spend time working away from home.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children