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CriticasGrade 1-5–Longing for the happier times she experienced in her native El Salvador, Xochitl, the flower girl, is pleasantly surprised one day when her mother brings home some fresh flowers to sell in the street. "Can I help you?" she asks, and the days suddenly come to life in her San Francisco neighborhood. Besides getting to know the neighbors and putting a smile on her patrons' faces, the hard work is enjoyable for this energetic little girl. When the family of three moves into an apartment with a small yard, they grow their own plants and flowers to sell. Xochitl is absolutely delighted, despite the tiresome work. The opening-day celebration is festive and thrilling until Don Roberto, their growling landlord, demands that the noisy crowd disband. Not until the neighbors tug at his heartstrings does he agree that a garden is preferable to the vacant lot it once was. Side-by-side bilingual text is a particularly suitable format for this timeless immigration story. Radiant chalk illustrations represent each scene tastefully. Xochitl's story is a superb read-aloud and a necessary component of school libraries that serve immigrant children. Recommended for all bookstores and library collections.
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