La maleta de tesoros

Dial. Apr. 2024. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593697559.
K-Gr 3–This lovely title is filled with relevant cultural details and themes that Latinx students (and others) will be intimately familiar with—a visit from Abuelita bringing suitcases of candy and other country-specific gifts not available in the United States. Although these gifts seem tied to Sylvester and Medina’s own South American roots, their symbolism for the tastes, colors, and smells from multiple ethnic heritages are relatable for a range of Latin American and Caribbean backgrounds. This book also taps into children’s familiarity with the visits of family members, particularly grandparents, allowing them to better connect to their own experiences, identities, and intergenerational relationships. Readers will gain a better sense of their parents’ and even their own sense of nostalgia for a place that isn’t physically their home, but feels like the safe space of their heart. The tenderness of that abuelita-granddaughter bond also lends to its sense of cultural authenticity, as do Medina’s bilingual illustrations.
VERDICT This gentle story is written in a Spanish that sounds like home with familiar themes and images of family, root countries, and a love that spans distances; children will wait in line to have a turn to share it with their families.

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