A little girl pitches in to help her tía save up for a big old car — and take the whole family to the beach — in a story told with warmth and sweetness.
Tía Isa wants a car. A shiny green car the same color as the ocean, with wings like a swooping bird. A car to take the whole family to the beach. But saving is hard when everything goes into two piles — one for here and one for Helping Money, so that family members who live far away might join them someday. While Tía Isa saves, her niece does odd jobs for neighbors so she can add her earnings to the stack. But even with her help, will they ever have enough? Meg Medina’s simple, genuine story about keeping in mind those who are far away is written in lovely, lyrical prose and brought to life through Claudio Muñoz’s charming characters.
About the Author
Meg Medina is the author of the Newbery Medal–winning book Merci Suárez Changes Gears, which was also a 2018 Kirkus Prize finalist. Her young adult novels include Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, which won the 2014 Pura Belpré Author Award; Burn Baby Burn, which was long-listed for the National Book Award; and The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind. She is also the author of picture books Mango, Abuela, and Me, illustrated by Angela Dominguez, which was a Pura Belpré Author Award Honor Book, and Tía Isa Wants a Car, illustrated by Claudio Muñoz, which won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, she grew up in Queens, New York, and now lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Claudio Muñoz is an award-winning illustrator who has worked for many newspapers and magazines as well as illustrating several children’s books. Born in Chile, he now lives in England.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tia Isa wants a car but she does not have enough money. Her niece finds many ways to make money and give it to her aunt. Together the two have enough to buy an old, big car, a car big enough to hold the entire family when they are all reunited again in the United States.¿Tia Isa wants a car.She tells me after work when she still smells of lemon pies from the bakery.She is turning the jump rope that¿s tied to the fence and I am already up to twenty.`Un pisicorre,¿ she says, `to take us to the beach!¿`Really? The beach¿ I can¿t catch my breath.No one goes far from my block in the summer. But a beach has foamy water that reaches all the places I cannot go.`Si, really. Let¿s save.¿
Tia Isa Wants a Car is the story of Tia Isa and her niece getting a car to take them wherever they want to go. Her family lives on an island far away from where they live. Most of the money Tia Isa earns is sent to her family as helping money since her father is sick. The book is appropriate to read for first to 4th graders. Tia Isa’s niece tells the story in the book. The book is written in first person by Meg Medina. The book takes place in a warm city close to the coast. When Tia Isa tells her brother Tio Andres she wants a car, he says to her: “You’re not a rich queen. We walk to everything we need here.” Tia Isa’s niece realizes that they don’t have enough money to buy a car. This is important because it’s the conflict of the story. When Tia Isa wants to drive to go to the beach, she can’t because she does not have a enough money to buy a car. Her niece raises money to buy a car by doing small jobs around town. Those jobs were stacking oranges, feeding cats, teaching Spanish to a librarian. Claudio Munoz drew the pictures with pencil and ink and used water color to paint them. Munoz uses detail to explain what's happening in the book. An example of that is on Page 11 when Tia Isa is trying to buy a car but she doesn’t have enough money. He shows the expression on the car salesman's face. The car salesman's face looked confused. His head is cocked sideways, and his hand is up in the air. He paints a second painting at the bottom of each page with text to put the page into summary. For example on Page 2 he painted a picture of sea shells because the text refers to the beach: “ ‘Un piscore,’ she says, ‘to take us to the beach!’” in addition on Page 6 he painted a picture of work boots because the text refers to Tia Isa stepping over her brother’s work boots: “Tia just whistles as she steps over Tio’s work boots.” I think the book was good for kids first through 4th grade because it teaches the how and why saving money is important. Saving money is a good skill to learn because if you ever want something that cost a lot you can save up for it. Meg shows this is by telling us how the niece helps to save money by working and saving all of her money to buy a car. The author used good vocabulary for a childrens book.