Tina and her mother share an apartment in a bustling, close-knit urban neighborhood where there's always something interesting to watch. Tina especially loves Sundays, the day her father, a taxi driver, comes to visit. Today's outing features a picnic at a farm in the country followed by an ``always room for one more'' taxi ride back home, scooping up Tina's neighbors along the way. Best, a fine storyteller, effortlessly weaves Spanish words and phrases into her lively tale (Tina is Latino). This is not a ``problem'' book; although Tina's sadness with her parents' separation is evident, the story focuses on the relationship between her and her father, a relationship that is both sweet and genuine. Stylistically, Gottlieb's vibrant, intensely colored illustrations might be classified as post-modern primitive; artistically, they both enlarge and enrich the tale. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Gr 1-2-A story with plenty of subtext and a premise that will strike a chord with many readers. On Sundays, Tina eagerly waits for her Papi to drive up in his taxi and carry her off. Some Sundays he doesn't appear, but this time he does-"`At your service, seorita.'" He bows her into the front seat and cruises past the houses and stores of her neighborhood, out of the city and to a farm. Tina wishes her parents lived together, but when she sees another little girl with her mother and father, she reflects that she has two families: ``Papi and me. And Mama and me.'' On the way back, Papi picks up a carload of neighbors who offer testimonials ("`You have some papi!'"), and then drops her off at her mother's doorstep: "`Adios, seorita mia.'" The girl's happy tone is reflected in Gottlieb's simple oil pastels. Smiling figures are scattered across flat, brightly colored fields; roads and buildings are depicted with softened, freely drawn lines. The book's sunny mood might seem to be at odds with the less-than-happy situation, and the validation of Papi's character is too heavy handed to be convincing, but Tina's unvarying love for both of her parents rings true.-John Peters, New York Public Library
Tina can't wait for Sundays, the day her Papi, who "lives someplace else," comes to pick her up in his yellow taxi. Some Sundays Papi doesn't come, but this time he does, taking Tina for a drive in the country, a picnic lunch, and a farm visit. On the way back to Tina's happy, bright city neighborhood, Papi and Tina stop to offer enough free rides to neighbors to pack the taxi and cap the day for a proud Tina. Gottlieb's broad, exuberant pastels fill the pages. Their backgrounds, whether sky or landscape, are so intensely colored that Tina's day with her father takes place in a rich, filled-in world. The artwork's flat perspective reminds us of children's drawings and conveys an affection for the everyday. The text recognizes that Papi sometimes forgets to visit and concentrates on Tina's pleasure spending time with him when he does arrive.