From the Publisher
As a child, Rita travels over the mountains in Mexico to say goodbye to her grandfather who gives her a serape, a pito - similar to a piccolo - and a wooden birdcage. She brings the treasures to the United States, where they are passed down to great-granddaughter Alicia as part of her cultural and family heritage. The colorful art reflects the beautiful Mexican countryside. -- Copyright © 1992 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.
"An unassuming yet telling story that effectively honors the Latin American heritage." Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A favorite family story acts as a lullaby in this picture book. When Alicia complains that it is too hot to take a nap, her mother sets up a cooler place for them downstairs. As the fan blows across a bowl of ice cubes, Alicia and baby Ramon nod off as Mama tells the story of how their great-grandmother came to the U.S. from Mexico many years ago, carrying her treasure--a serape, a pito (flute-like instrument), and a wooden bird cage that is still valued in Alicia's family today. Havill's ( Jamaica Tag-Along ) unassuming text has a calming quality, perfect for bedtime reading. When paired with Savadier's bright palette, the story's images spring to life with ethnic flair. Unfortunately, several of Savadier's human figures are misshapen, but the warmth of the tale compensates for this shortcoming. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- On a particularly hot day, young Alicia and her mother spread out a sheet and put a tray of ice cubes in front of a fan to create a cool breeze. There, in this small haven of coolness, Alicia's mother tells her and her infant brother a story, a much-repeated favorite. When she was a small child, Alicia's great-grandmother went on a trip to the mountains to see her grandfather, who made bird cages and pitos, pipes used to call birds. The tale puts Alicia to sleep, and when she awakes she runs to a trunk from which she takes the heirloom pipe and bird cage. She plays a tune, and a parrot flies to her. Despite the abrupt ending, the book presents a picture of a loving family proud of its Hispanic heritage. The illustrations, done in watercolor, marker, and crayon, are bright and kinetic, full of swishy motion. The primitive style works better in some pictures than in others. Faces in closeup tend to be slightly out of proportion, but the vivid colors and sense of arrested movement, by and large, carry viewers past this flaw. --Ann Welton, Thomas Academy, Kent, WA