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The Best Family in the World
     

The Best Family in the World

by Susana Lopez, Ulises Wensell (Illustrator)
 

Carlotta anxiously awaits the arrival of her new family. What will they be like? She imagines all kinds of wonderful families...astronauts, pastry chefs, even pirates. How nice to find out that they are the best family in the world.

Overview

Carlotta anxiously awaits the arrival of her new family. What will they be like? She imagines all kinds of wonderful families...astronauts, pastry chefs, even pirates. How nice to find out that they are the best family in the world.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
From Spain comes a heart-warming story of adoption that should appeal particularly to adopted children and their families. When Carlota is called to the office of the orphanage and told that a family is coming tomorrow to adopt her, she hopes it will be "the best family in the world." She begins to imagine what that family might be. Her first dream is a family of pastry chefs. How delicious that could be! How about the adventures she might have with a family of pirates? Tiger trainers would be very exciting. With an astronaut family, she could live on a space ship. When the very ordinary Perez family arrives to pick her up, however, they fulfill all her dreams as the best family for her. On the title page, an appealing Carlota stares wistfully into space. There are happy scenes in both the orphanage and in the situations she imagines. Colors are applied gently to the somewhat stylized, naturalistic, mainly full-page scenes. The final illustration, with Carlota sleeping in her new home lovingly watched by her new family, is a bit sentimental but adds an appropriate ending. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Carlota, an orphan who looks to be about five or six, dreams of being adopted by "the best family in the world." Her fantasies are wistful, even outlandish, but believable for a child this age. She longs to "live in a pastry shop," or with a family of pirates, or circus performers, or even astronauts. Soon, she meets her adoptive family, a sweet, but rather typical-looking group. Here López and Wensell display their flair for conveying the essence of how a child's mind can work. Although Carlota's adoptive father is an insurance agent, not a pirate, "he loves digging for buried treasure in the vacant lot next door." Her mother, not a baker but a postal worker, sometimes brings her "a pastry for an afternoon snack." Carlota is pictured sprawling on a coach, her head on her mother's lap, munching on a treat. Her brother is a stand-in for astronauts when he decorates her ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stars. The illustrations feature vibrant color and capture Carlota's whimsical musings as well as her eventual joyful embrace of her new, loving relatives. Unlike numerous adoption stories that focus attention on the adoptive family's anticipation, this one explores the inner life of a child waiting to be adopted. The ending shows a very contented Carlota whose dreams have come true in a circuitous, but oh-so-satisfying, way.—Deborah Vose, East Middle School and South Middle School, Braintree, MA
Publishers Weekly
In this Spanish import, when the director of an orphanage tells Carlota that a family is coming to adopt her tomorrow, she spends the night in a fever of anticipation. Maybe they'll be a family of pastry chefs! Or pirates! Or tiger trainers! (“She'd live at the circus!... She'd take a Bengal tiger to school, and she'd be the most popular girl at recess”). Wensell's (Paul and Sebastian) Carlota imagines many scenarios; her circus parents putting the tigers through their paces, her pirate parents looking on fondly while she uncovers buried treasure, her astronaut parents holding her hands as she floats through space. Her real new family turns out to be quite ordinary, but they clearly adore her and have all the exoticism she needs: “Roberto, Carlota's new father.... isn't a pirate, but he loves digging for buried treasure in the vacant lot next door.” Lopez handles Carlota's situation with delicacy, and Wensell's friendly faces reassure readers that Carlota is in good hands. It's a useful adoption story and a reminder that sometimes what we end up with is what we actually wanted all along. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
A shy orphan's dreams of adoption come true. Little Carlota is called into the office of the orphanage director, who happily informs her that she's soon to be placed with a family. Too excited to sleep, Carlota imagines all kinds of new parents-pirates, astronauts, pastry chefs and tiger trainers. Her real new family isn't quite that exotic, but each has qualities of her fantasy families: Her mother often brings pastry home, father digs for buried treasure in a vacant lot next door, grandma has playful striped cats and new brother Pedro decorates her bedroom with stars and hanging planets. She knows she has the best family in the world. The warmth of Wensell's illustrations matches the gentle narrative, a modern fairy tale. This Spanish import does not seek to explain anything about the adoption process, thus rendering it nicely universal. It distinguishes itself further from other books on the topic by posing a preschool-age child as its protagonist, rather than a child adopted as an infant. Neatly pitched for its target audience. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935279471
Publisher:
Kane/Miller Book Publishers
Publication date:
01/01/2010
Pages:
28
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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