Mama and Papa Have a Store

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Mama and Papa Have a Store

A little girl describes what a day is like in her parents' Chinese store in Guatemala City.

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Overview

Mama and Papa Have a Store

A little girl describes what a day is like in her parents' Chinese store in Guatemala City.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Drawing on her memories of growing up in Guatemala as the daughter of Chinese immigrants, debut author/artist Carling sunnily evokes a companionable mingling of cultures. Her parents, whose Chinese names mean Lady Who Lives in the Moon and Fragrant Pond, are do a Graciela and don Rodolfo to the customers who frequent their general store. Going past the paper lanterns and firecrackers on display, a weaver pores over "rows and rows of colored strands [of thread] arranged like schools of fish in glassy water," and chooses "volcano purple, maize yellow, hot pepper red." Lunch in their home behind the store is cooked in a wok and served with tortillas. Tropical foliage and a pila pool for the goldfish adorn the spacious patio; on la terraza, the kids play with a miniature landscape of a Chinese mountain with little pagodas and moon bridges. Carling's festively patterned, serene watercolors show the narrator happily being a kid: dangling a string for the cat, buying candy, floating paper boats in the gutter. In a scene that marvelously captures the book's fusion of familiar and exotic elements, the kids sled on pieces of cardboard down a waxed tin roof, a mountain in the distance and colorful laundry and flowers in the foreground. Kids may enjoy trying to separate out the threads of Mayan, Spanish and Chinese cultures, but all come together seamlessly in this snippet of an idyllic childhood. Ages 4-8. June
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Like the delicious lunch that Mama serves to her Chinese family and guests, consisting of stir-fried fish and vegetables with hot chilies and corn tortillas, this colorful multicultural picture book shows us how the author's parents and older siblings ran a store in post-World War II Guatemala City that sold just about anything you could want. Bright child-like watercolors compliment nicely a lively first person text that incorporates Spanish words and names in a very natural way. The family's daily activities, with their blend of Chinese, Spanish and Mayan customs and influences, portray a truly multicultural way of life in a very appealing way. An author's note is included.
School Library Journal
In Guatemala City, a Chinese immigrant family owns a specialty store where they sell fabric and thread, along with Chinese imports. The events of a typical busy day are recounted through the eyes of the family's youngest daughter. Through the details of daily life, readers see how cultures coexist and enrich one another in this delightful autobiographical story. (PreS-Gr 4) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Carling's first solo outing recounts a day in the life of her family's general store in the heart of Guatemala City. Her family has fled a war in China and opened the store, stocking Chinese goods that are a hit with the local Guatemalan, Mayan, and Chinese populations. It is in the details that Carling finds her memory sparked, as she recalls lottery ticket and candy sellers; lunchtime, when her brothers and sisters would come home from school and sled down their waxed tin roof; the afternoon storms; laundry flapping on the roof; the clic-clac of her father's abacus as he tallied the day's sales. Carling's watercolors are also about those details: the shop brimming with goods, the Chinese touches throughout her home, her mother applying lipstick before returning to the store after lunch. Through these scenes run members of the expatriate Chinese community, filtering in and out of the store to chat and have tea or a plate of fish and hot peppers. The tone of the book is subdued, but this is a remarkable and affectionate story of one family's resilience, of grace under fire, of how a life can flourish under trying circumstances, and how ordinary scenes can be bracketed and transformed by a child's "The day begins like this" and "This is how the day ends." (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803720442
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.76 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Short is a division director at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, D.C. She has worked as a teacher, trainer, researcher, and curriculum/materials developer. Her work at CAL has concentrated on the integration of language learning with content-area instruction. Through several national projects, she has conducted research and provided professional development and technical assistance to local and state education agencies across the United States. She directed the ESL Standards and Assessment Project for TESOL and co-developed the SIOP model for sheltered instruction.

Dr. Tinajero specializes in staff development and school-university partnership programs and has consulted with school districts in the U.S. to design ESL, bilingual, literacy, and bi-literacy programs. She has served on state and national advisory committees for standards development, including the English as a New Language Advisory Panel of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and the Texas Reading Academies. She is currently professor of Education and Interim Dean of the College of Education at the University of Texas at El Paso and was President of the National Association for Bilingual Education, 1997-2000.

Dr. Schifini assists schools across the nation and around the world in developing comprehensive language and literacy programs for English learners. He has worked as an ESL teacher, reading specialist, school administrator and university professor. Through an arrangement with California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, Dr. Schifini currently serves as program consultant to two large teacher-training efforts in the area of reading for second language speakers of English. His research interests include early literacy and language development and the integration of language and content-area instruction.

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