Tressa 's Reviews > My Little Car

My Little Car by Gary Soto
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Jan 09, 08

bookshelves: juvenile
Recommended for: All parents and children who love brightly illustrated books.

What an eye-pleasing book My Little Car (Mi Carrito) is. This is my son’s favorite book of the moment as it meets his current criteria: it’s colorful and it’s about a car.

Gary Soto’s My Little Car is the story of Teresa and the lowrider pedal car given to her as a birthday present by her Abuelito (grandfather). She lovingly takes care of her little car and enjoys driving around her neighborhood. She wins a trophy for her Bailelo skills (making her car dance) in a contest, outraces a dog and becomes the envy of the playground, all because of her special car.

But, alas, all things new must turn old, and Teresa eventually loses interest and becomes negligent. Her car is left out in the elements where it begins to rust, lose its flame stickers and become a target for the birds in the trees. It's even dented when Teresa’s father backs into it with his truck where it's carelessly parked in the driveway.

One day Teresa’s grandfather comes to visit and doesn’t even recognize the car. Teresa sadly admits “Es mi carrito.” Grandfather exclaims that the car looks as old and rundown as he. Teresa and her little sister Pumpkin rush to their grandfather’s defense, and Teresa is shamed into realizing that things should be cherished long after the new wears off, be they people or toys.

Pam Paparone’s illustrations bring the Chicano neighborhood to life, in the bright colors and décor of the houses and in the urban street scenes alive with the faces of its people.

My Little Car is an excellent introduction to the Mexican language and culture for young children.

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