Estela's Swap

Overview

This is the story of a Mexican American girl who learns to value the act of giving when she attends her first Swap Meet.

A young Mexican American girl accompanies her father to a swap meet, where she hopes to sell her music box for money for dancing lessons.

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Overview

This is the story of a Mexican American girl who learns to value the act of giving when she attends her first Swap Meet.

A young Mexican American girl accompanies her father to a swap meet, where she hopes to sell her music box for money for dancing lessons.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Estela is going to her first Swap Meet, where people sell, exchange and bargain. She hopes to sell her beloved music box to earn enough money for folk dancing lessons, but is having little success. Suddenly a strong wind blows up. Estela rushes to help the lady whose flower stand is collapsing. In sympathy, she gives the woman her music box, but wonders how she will earn her money now. To her delighted surprise, the flower seller brings her a beautiful skirt for dancing as a "swap." Perhaps next week Estela can return with something else to sell. Sanchez's acrylic on canvas double-page scenes with a folk-art feeling take us through the lengthy text, conveying the vitality and emotions of our heroine along with the market background, climaxing with her final dance in her brilliant red skirt. There is a glossary of the few Spanish words included. 2002, Lee & Low Books,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A Hispanic child joins her father and brother at their Swap Meet stall, hoping to sell her music box to earn the last $10 she needs to pay for folk-dancing lessons. Estela meets an older woman who sells paper flowers and is sewing a falda (skirt), and who admires the music box and its sounds that remind her of her childhood. When a strong wind creates a chaos of tumbled goods, tents, and tarps, the flower seller's wares are gone. In a gesture of generosity and compassion, the little girl gives her the treasured box so she can listen to the music as she makes more flowers. At the end of the day, the older woman presents Estela with the falda as a swap for her music box, creating a satisfying end to a day of excitement. O'Neill subtly weaves details of trades and bargaining into the fabric of her story to give readers a tangible taste of swaps or flea markets. Sanchez uses richly colored, bright acrylics to render the energy and bustle of a Swap Meet in his full-bleed illustrations. The text is skillfully incorporated into the illustrations and the focus on each spread remains firmly on the plucky heroine. All in all, a wonderful bargain.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Estela goes with her father and her brother to the Swap Meet, hoping to earn the ten dollars she needs to pay for folk-dancing lessons by selling a colorful music box that plays Cielito Lindo. After they have set up their stand, her father introduces her to the art of bargaining. Estela handles the customers' offers well, but no one wants to pay anywhere near the price she's asking. When a sudden gust of March wind blows away, all the paper flowers of the friendly woman in a neighboring stand, Estela impulsively gives her the music box that no one has purchased. "Suddenly she knew what she had to do, even if it meant she wouldn't earn any money today." In a surprise ending that careful readers may anticipate, Estela is surprised to receive something wonderful in return. " 'Since we are at a Swap Meet,' the woman said, 'it is only fair that we swap.' " Sanchez's (Speak English for Us, Marisol!, not reviewed, etc.) colorful pastels effectively focus attention on the main characters and objects by delineating them clearly, while softening the outlines of the others. Seven Spanish names and expressions are included in a glossary and pronunciation guide on the half-title page, where, unfortunately, they may be overlooked. This well-crafted tale featuring a Mexican-American father and children will be wonderful for reading aloud to individuals or to groups. (Picture book. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600602535
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexis O'Neill is the author of the popular Loud Emily, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and The Recess Queen, a Junior Library Guild selection. She is also an instructor at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program. The idea for this story came from O'Neill's many visits to swap meets after she and her husband moved to Simi Valley, California, where they still live.

Enrique O. Sanchez's award-winning books for Lee & Low include Abeula's Weave, Amelia's Road, Confetti, and When This World Was New. He is also the illustrator of The Golden Flower, a Pura Belpr‚ Illustration Honor Book. A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sanchez now lives in East Burke, Vermont, with his wife.

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