…delightful…There's no earthshaking story, just the sweet rumble of family love, neighborhood pride, the dignity of work and the joy of a fast ride. Yet Quintero's warm, economical text and the desert-sunset tones of Peña's comics-inflected art feel like a revelation.
When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she's always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her.
But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there.
With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl's love letter to her hardworking dad and to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change.
When Papi gets home from work in his gray truck, his daughter is ready for their ritual, a nightly motorcycle ride: “I run outside with both of our helmets.” Together, they zip through their California city, passing the market, the church, and murals that show “our history—of citrus groves and the immigrants who worked them.” The landscape is changing: Papi and his fellow carpenters are building new houses where the groves once stood, and the shaved ice shop has gone out of business. Quintero and Peña, the team behind Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, conjure up the ride’s sights and sounds with sensory immediacy—the girl grasps her father’s sawdusty shirt, sun-bleached pinks and oranges convey the lingering heat of evening, and stray cats run in front of the rumbling bike as neighborhood sounds reach the riders. Fresh graphic novel style art offers all the glory of a ride (“VROOOM”), and speech in balloons is a mix of Spanish and English alongside the English-only text. The love between the girl and her father is palpable, but her connection to her city (fleshed out in an author’s note about Corona, Calif.) is at the story’s heart. Ages 4–8. (May)
PRAISE FOR MY PAPI HAS A MOTORCYCLE
by Isabel Quintero; Illustrated by Zeke Peña
Pura Belpré Illustration Honor Award
2020 Tom's Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award
2020 American Library Association Notable Children's Book
A New York Times Best Children's Book of 2019
A Horn Book Best Children's Book of 2019
A Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2019
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2019
A Parents Magazine Best Children's Book of 2019
NPR Book Concierge Pick 2019
Bank Street Children's Book Committee Best Spanish Language Picture Book Award
2020 TEXAS 2X2 READING LIST
Tejas Star Reading List Pick (Spanish edition)
2019 Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Book Award Finalist
Summer 2019 Kids’ Indie Next List
* "A heartwarming story that centers joy in the midst of looming change." - Booklist, starred review
* "An evocative love letter." - Horn Book, starred review
* "The love between the girl and her father is palpable, but her connection to her city ... is at the story's heart." - Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Quintero's warm, economical text and the desert-sunset tones of Peña's comics-inflected art feel like a revelation." - The New York Times
PRAISE FOR PHOTOGRAPHIC: THE LIFE OF GRACIELA ITURBIDE
by Isabel Quintero; Illustrated by Zeke Peña
2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Award Winner
2018 Moonbeam Children's Books Gold Award Winner
* "Quintero and Peña have set a new standard in artist biographies." School Library Journal, starred review
* "A powerful homage." The Horn Book, starred review
* "Eye-opening and masterfully rendered." Booklist, starred review
K-Gr 2—A radiant ode to a young girl's father and her L.A. neighborhood. Every evening, Daisy and her papi snap on their helmets (hers is purple with a unicorn, his a black vintage variety) and begin their ride on his electric blue motorcycle through Corona, CA. At times they "roar past" taquerias and murals, and other times they "cruise," greeting family and neighbors as they pass by. All the while, Daisy absorbs the sights, sounds, and smells of her beloved hometown, imprinting its idiosyncrasies into memory. Daisy's experiences mirror Quintero's childhood memories, recounted through tender language and vivid sensory details. Recalling the motorcycle rides with her papi is an exercise in familial love, but also a way to honor a hometown and present the changes from gentrification. Although the topic is touched upon lightly, its complexity percolates and becomes much more vivid with multiple reads. The illustrations faithfully capture the merriment and love through careful details and a low-key color palette that alludes to warm memories being made and recollected. Peña makes felicitous use of his comics chops, incorporating speech balloons with Spanish phrases, onomatopoeia, and panels to convey movement. Quintero's writing and Peña's art coalesce most beautifully in the infectious look of joy on Daisy's face throughout. VERDICT A book that radiates sheer happiness without shying from reality. Highly recommended for all libraries.—Jessica Agudelo, New York Public Library
A screaming, bright-blue comet zooms through the streets of Corona, California, in a race against the orange setting sun.
A unicorn-decorated purple helmet can't hide the grin of the young girl tightly gripping the waist of her carpenter father, who's hunched over his blazing motorcycle as a comet tail of sawdust streams behind them. Basking in her father's wordless expression of love, she watches the flash of colors zip by as familiar landmarks blend into one another. Changes loom all around them, from the abandoned raspado (snow cone) shop to the housing construction displacing old citrus groves. Yet love fills in the spaces between nostalgia and the daily excitement of a rich life shared with neighbors and family. Quintero's homage to her papi and her hometown creates a vivid landscape that weaves in and out of her little-girl memory, jarring somewhat as it intersects with adult recollections. At the end, her family buys raspados from a handcart—are the vendor and defunct shop's owner one and the same? Peña's comic-book-style illustrations capture cultural-insider Mexican-American references, such as a book from Cathy Camper and Raúl the Third's Lowrider series and the Indigenous jaguar mask on the protagonist's brother's T-shirt. Dialogue in speech bubbles incorporates both Spanish and English, and the gist of the conversation is easily followed; a fully Spanish edition releases simultaneously.
Every girl should be so lucky as to have such a papi. (Picture book. 7-11)
- 2011-2020 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Books
- 2020 Ezra Jack Keats Award Honor Books
- 2020 Pura Belpré Award Honor Books
- Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor Books
- Family Life - Kids Fiction
- Island Peoples, Places & Cultures - Kids Fiction
- Miscellaneous People, Places & Cultures - Kids Fiction
- New York Times Notable Children's Books of 2019
- Publishers Weekly's Best Picture Books of 2019
- Sports & Recreation - Kids Fiction
- Transportation & Travel - Kids Fiction
- U. S. People, Places & Cultures - Kids Fiction