Told from the perspective of a young girl whose Papá has moved to the United States for work, Schimel’s emotionally charged picture book begins with a phone call that will reunite the family but force the girl to leave behind her Abuela and dog Kika. As the book progresses, the authentic narrative successfully captures the wide range of emotions children experience when separated from the ones they love. Rivera’s detailed collage illustrations add an extra layer of meaning to the story, evoking the loneliness and joy that the family feels at this juncture in their lives. Although a specific Latin American country is not provided, readers do understand that the country is not Mexico (it is most likely South America), which provides a much needed perspective on the immigrant story available in Latino children’s literature. Pair this book with My Diary from Here to There
(Peréz 2002) or Alfredito Flies Home
(Argueta 2007) to spark a discussion on immigration and its influence on children from various Latin American countries. Highly Recommended.
Let's Go See Papa. Lawrence Schimel. Illus. by Alba Marina Rivera. English translation by Elisa Amado. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2011. Unpaged. $18.95 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-1-55498-1069. Grades K-3. English with some Spanish.