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Tia Isa Wants a Car

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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  287 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
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
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Candlewick Press
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Kathryn
4.5 STARS
I loved this book! The language and illustrations really spoke to me and the message is beautiful.

We read this in the Children's Book Group Picture Book Club for the "Financial Literacy" theme and it definitely speaks to the idea of earning money and saving money. I appreciate Isa's tenacity and spunk, especially in the face of naysayers, in holding fast to her dream of buying a car and working hard to achieve that dream. I also appreciate her niece's efforts to contribute to the car f
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Cheryl
Dec 11, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I thought it would be all earnest, and kinda heavy, but it was joyful. Freedom & hope for a better future are things that make one smile, according to Medina and Munoz.

I appreciated that the concepts are both universal in the general sense, and also culturally specific in the details. I'd like to know which city, which beach, Isa lives in now, and which island the family is from. Something about the colors, yellows and teals and pinks, says Miami
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Danielle
Tia Isa has one wish other than being reunited with her family far away, to have a car that will carry them to the beach. Money is tight though and much of her savings must go to her family back home. When her niece sees the difference between what Tia Isa has and what she needs she decides it’s time for her to help. In no time they have the car Tia Isa dreamed of and a perfect day at the beach.

This is a story that all ages will love from children to adults because of it’s beautiful illustration
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Jenny
Love, love, love this! It is reminiscent of A Chair for My Mother. Tia Isa decides she wants to buy a car. A green car that can take them to the ocean and will remind her of the island she left to come to America. Tio Andres says she is ridiculous. But Tia Isa saves and her niece, the narrator, finds ways to help. It takes effort and time and patience and determination, but finally they have saved enough to buy a car.

I love the illustrations and the incorporation of some Spanish words into the t
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Judi
Teaching recommendation: 3rd grade Economics unit

Tia Isa is a lady living with her brother and niece. She is a Latina immigrant possibly from Puerto Rico, or Cuba, the book doesn’t really say. Tia Isa wants to buy a car to take them to the beach. “A beach has foamy water that reaches all the places I cannot go.” She says. Tia Isa wants the color of the car to be “the same shiny green as the color of the ocean that lapped outside her window when she was a girl. When Tia Isa was a girl, the air on
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Sarah Collins
Oct 04, 2013 Sarah Collins rated it it was amazing
Book Title: Tia Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina

Description: Tia Isa wants to buy a car to take the family to the sea. She scrapes up her money but it isn’t enough. Her niece (the narrator) happens upon odd jobs and surprises her aunt with enough money to buy the car and go to the sea.

Focus:

1) Show-Not-Tell: Meg Medina does a great job of show-not-tell, providing a good model for students.

Teach:

CCSS.W.3.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniq
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Maryam
Jul 08, 2013 Maryam rated it really liked it
This story is reminiscent of A Chair for My Mother, with Latina heroines. The financial (and feminist) struggles of the determined pair make you root for them throughout the book. At first, I really didn't think much of the book or the illustrations (watercolors in children's books have to work hard to win me over). But it's the kind of book that teaches you NOT to judge it by its cover. It really does get better and better the more you read it, think and talk about it. The characters are strong ...more
David
Tía Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina, illustrated by Claudio Munoz is the story of a little girl who pitches in to help her tía save up for a big old car, to take the whole family to the beach, when they are reunited again in the United States.

The text in a large font includes dialog and text in both English and Spanish. Among the Spanish words used are tía, un pisicorre, Sí, Así, Tío, Rrrridículo, señor, niña, español, la vieja, mi vida, Abuelo, Mami, Papi, besito, vamos, ese mismo, mi hija, los p
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Dolly
Oct 12, 2016 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I first heard of Meg Medina when our oldest came home from school and told me that everyone in her grade was assigned to read Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass.

Then I was assigned to watch a video of a panel discussion she was part of at the Politics and Prose bookstore in DC, during which her books were mentioned. And finally, I see that this book was selected for our picture book club (see below). So I figured that I was destined to read her books.

I really appreciated the concept of savin
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Beverly
Sep 01, 2016 Beverly rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
This was a very good book about saving money and waiting until one has enough to purchase the wanted item. It also showed the young girl proactively getting odd jobs to save up even more money. So through hard work and patience, the two save up enough money for a used car that can carry everyone to the beach. Nowhere in the book does it state where Tia Isa and her niece are living; possibly New York city; and nowhere does it state where the rest of the relatives are who want to join them. Possib ...more
Marissa García
Tia Isa wants a car for freedom and the family but times are tough. Her enterprising young niece has a way to help, though.

Gorgeous, succinct prose pairs with equally expressive illustration in this beautiful picture book. The immigrant experience is handled with elegance and sophiscation, making all audiences, Latino or non-Latino, feel included and invested. Suggest to: patrons who want books about family, transportation, multiculturalism, the immigrant experience, books with great illustratio
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Edward Sullivan
May 26, 2011 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Charming, warm story about two sisters who work hard to save enough money to buy a used car that they can use to drive the family to the beach.
Ashton McWhirter
Nov 29, 2016 Ashton McWhirter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-31-40
This book is a realistic fiction picture book. It won the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award.

Tia Isa works hard day in and day out, always saving and always helping. Her "helping money" goes back home to the family that hasn't moved to America yet. Her "saving money" is going towards a bright and shiny new car that can take the family to the beach! But even with all her work, she never seems to have enough money. That is, until her niece decides to pitch in and see what can happen when two work together
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Nadine
Nov 09, 2016 Nadine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, pyp
#HWOO #poverty #creativity #spanish
Lovely story with some Spanish words about an immigrant family where an aunt is saving up for a car and how her niece creatively helps her with her goal
Bernice Seward
Dec 19, 2016 Bernice Seward rated it really liked it
Super sweet story.
Tasha
Sep 13, 2011 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A little girl’s Tia Isa wants to get a car in order to take the family to the beach. She wants one that is the color of the ocean with pointy wings at the back. But Tio Andres laughs at the idea, calling it “ridiculous.” They don’t have much money, but head to a car dealer where they find out they need to save more. So the little girl sets out to help. She stacks fruit at the store, feeds people’s pets, and teaches Spanish. She waits until her money sock is bulging full and then surprises her Ti ...more
Tiffany Beedle
The story is about Tia Isa(aunt Isa) wanting a car. The little girl tells the story of her aunt wanting a car. The problem with Aunt Isa wanting a car is that she cannot afford it. The plan is to save money to buy the car. The little girl tries to do research and find out ways that her aunt Isa can buy a car, or save money to buy a car. Tia Isa wanted to buy a car to take them to the sea, to see the pretty water. In the end, Tia Isa is able to get the money, and afford a car to buy and take them ...more
Jamie Short
Apr 25, 2014 Jamie Short rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multi-cultural
Text to World: Reading this book highlights the commitment to family and how families struggle and strive to do what's best but retain dreams. I think students can connect to this because some are separated from families and doing their best to support them, some have to sacrifice and save in order to make dreams come true. It's not a story that will resonate with Hispanic students who may have similar stories, but will resonate with the importance of family. However, I do think this can highlig ...more
Jannah Horvath
Oct 31, 2016 Jannah Horvath rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Grade Level: 3.0
Genre: Multicultural/ Hispanic Picture book.

Tia Isa Wants a Car is a short story about a young girl and her Aunt Isa. Tia Isa wants a car, but every month most of their money goes back home to help support the unnamed girls parents and grandparents. There is never enough money put aside for the car. Tia Isa dreams and talks about it-- a blue car, like the ocean, which they can drive to and be reminded of home. Tia Isa's niece decides to help by doing odd jobs-- stacking oranges
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Carol Royce Owen
Jun 19, 2012 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it
Tia Isa wants a car and her young niece wants to see that dream fulfilled so much that she is willing to work hard and pitch in her own money to help save. Tia Isa has been saving for a long while, but she sends a great deal of her money to her family far away.
I read this book because it has been chosen as a Vermont Red Clover Book for 2012-2013. I don't know if I would have chosen it, otherwise, and that would have been my loss, because it is a wonderful book. I love this book for the similes a
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Kathleen Behrendt
This beautifully written picture book shows the life lesson of patiently saving for a big acquisition (a car in this case). It reinforces the positive outcome of hardwork to achieve your hopes and dreams. The story also shows the close ties of immigrants to their families back home and the obligation of sending money to help support them. The little girl, who is not named in the story, lives in the city - far away from the beach she yearns to visit - with a "Keep Off" sign on the grassy area in ...more
Angelica
What a beautiful and endearing story. Told from the perspective of a little girl whose aunt is determined to get a car to take her and eventually her family to the beach. Tia Isa saves and saves but when she goes for the car it isn't enough. So the little girl helps Tia Isa by doing little odd jobs for people. In the end they can afford the car and their dreams spark up again.


What a fantastic story about the simplest of things. To want a car just to take it to the beach. The author really bring
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Barbara
Jun 02, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: ncbla
While saving money to bring the rest of their family to the United States, an aunt longs for a used car to travel to the beach. But the aunt's brother scoffs at the idea of her ever being able to put away enough money to do so. Her niece begins doing all sorts of tasks to help her reach her goal. Once they have sufficient savings, they purchase a green car that is big enough to take the whole family wherever they want to go. The story's reminder that some things are worth the wait and that dream ...more
Michelle
Jan 07, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story of a girl and her aunt, Aunt Isa. Aunt Isa wants a car but doesn't have enough money. Even though Uncle Andres thinks her idea is "rrrrridiculous," she continues working toward her goal of saving enough to buy just the right car. As a surprise, the narrator takes on some jobs of her own to chip in toward the purchase.
This book brings in the social studies topic of families being separated by borders. In addition to the car, Tia Isa also wants her family to be able to come li
...more
Michelle
Jan 07, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spanish-language
I enjoyed this story of a girl and her aunt, Aunt Isa. Aunt Isa wants a car but doesn't have enough money. Even though Uncle Andres thinks her idea is "rrrrridiculous," she continues working toward her goal of saving enough to buy just the right car. As a surprise, the narrator takes on some jobs of her own to chip in toward the purchase.
This book brings in the social studies topic of families being separated by borders. In addition to the car, Tia Isa also wants her family to be able to come li
...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 23, 2011 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it really liked it
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 bea
...more
Kathy Ellen Davis
Mar 07, 2013 Kathy Ellen Davis rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a very sweet story.
And simple: Tia Isa wants a car.
I love that the narrator sees things happening with the adults, and also finds ways she can help.

I love the simplicity of the illustrations...maybe it's the watercolor that make them so appealing, and many times they are at an unexpected angle that gives a very good viewpoint on the situation.

What a great story about family and working hard.
The setting is done really well in this book too.

Oh yeah, and there are sprinklings of
...more
Marissa Garcia
Tia Isa wants a car for freedom and the family but times are tough. Her enterprising young niece has a way to help, though.

Gorgeous, succinct prose pairs with equally expressive illustration in this beautiful picture book. The immigrant experience is handled with elegance and sophiscation, making all audiences, Latino or non-Latino, feel included and invested. Suggest to: patrons who want books about family, transportation, multiculturalism, the immigrant experience, books with great illustratio
...more
Linda
Aug 09, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
Sharing books about people who don’t have a lot of money, but save for something important, like a car, and still send money back to family in their former country are to be respected for their sacrifice and discipline as they save. A little sister tells the story and her older sister, Tia Isa, says she wants a car so they all can go to the beach. There are some sweet actions by the little sister in the book, doing what she can do while waiting. Some Spanish is included, but the country of origi ...more
Steven R. McEvoy
May 01, 2012 Steven R. McEvoy rated it it was amazing
Tia Isa wants a new car, but with sending money home to her family each month it seems like just a dream. Her brother tells her it is ridiculous but her younger sister wants to help - sometimes dreams come true. The story is wonderful and the illustrations charming. It is a story of hopes, dreams and hard work. The story written from family history is a wonderful tale. Great fun for readers of all ages.

Read the review on my blog Book Reviews and More.
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Meg Medina is an award-winning Cuban American author who writes picture books, middle grade, and Young Adult fiction.

She is a two-time Pura Belpré award winner, receiving the 2016 honor distinction for her picture book, Mango, Abuela and Me, and the 2014 medal for her young adult novel, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass.

Meg also earned the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats award for her picture book Tía Is
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