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My very own room = Mi propio cuartito

by Amada Irma Perez


Publishers Weekly :

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Tired of sharing a room with her five brothers, an eight-year-old Mexican American girl longs to find a corner of the house she can call her own ("a place where I could read the books I loved, write in my diary, and dream"). She persuades her mother to let her take up residence in a storage room, and the whole family gets involved in refurbishing the new space. An uncle who is heading back to Mexico donates his bed; one brother finds a wooden crate to use for a bookcase--and the books come from the library. Based on Perez's own childhood, this bilingual picture book paints an affectionate portrait of life in a big family that often provides a home base to newly arriving relatives and friends ("There was always a long line to use the bathroom, but the toilet seat was always warm") and offers strong testimony to the heroine's resourcefulness. Gonzalez's (Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems) warm palette, simple lines and uncluttered images flow through the story like a series of murals. This inspiring tale will resonate with anyone who's ever wished for a room of one's own or worked hard to achieve an important goal. Ages 6-up. (Aug.)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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School Library Journal :

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K-Gr 3-In the tradition of Elizabeth Starr Hill's Evan's Corner (Puffin, 1993), the nine-year-old protagonist of this story longs for a room of her own in the crowded house she shares with her parents, five brothers, and frequent guests. When the child sets her sights on a small storage closet, the whole family helps to make her dream room a reality. This bilingual book is based on an incident from the author's childhood, and it reads more like a brief autobiographical essay than a picture book. The story lacks tension since the main conflict is resolved quickly, but it does show that a child's need for privacy doesn't preclude being a loving family member. Gonzalez's rich, robust illustrations heighten the otherwise quiet story. Smiling Mexican-American children with rounded body curves and widened facial features march across pages splashed with bold brush strokes of primary colors. A deserving purchase for bilingual and larger picture-book collections.-Denise E. Agosto, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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