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Mama and Papa Have a Store
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Mama and Papa Have a Store

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  36 reviews
From the clip, clop of the milkman's mule in early morning to the clic, clac of her father's abacus at night, a young girl tells about a day in her family's store and home in Guatemala City. Every day customers of many heritages — speaking Spanish, Chinese, and Mayan — come to buy cloth, buttons, and thread in colors like ?parrot green? and ?mango yellow,? and dozens of ot ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 1998 by Dial Books
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  86 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Jessica Martinez
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mama and Papa Have a Store welcomes readers into the life of a young girl who lives in Guatemala City with her family. Her parents own a Chinese store that sells just about anything you can imagine: firecrackers, buttons, thread, cloth, tablecloths, soy sauce, perfume, lanterns, flower, etc. The girl introduces the readers to the local residents in her town and the customers who frequently shop at her parents’ store, including the blind man, the candy woman, and the Mayan Indians who come from f ...more
JJ Jones
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mama & Papa Have a Store is a charming story about a Chinese family living and working in Guatemala. The day-in-the-life-of story is told from the point of view of a young girl. While her brothers and sisters go off to school, she stays behind at her parents' store, watching the customers, observing the street traffic, and imagining far away cities. The young narrator shows us that life isn't all that different where she lives than it is where her parents grew up or even where the reader is from ...more
In this picture book, a young girl describes vividly the happenings in her parents' small store in Guatemala City. Since her parents have moved to the country from China, the store is filled with all sorts of surprising cultural treasures from their homeland but also materials and goods that are popular with locals. The text and illustrations, created in watercolor and gouache, effectively provide a glimpse into a small slice of life that seems realistic, filled with some dreaming and imagining ...more
Luisa Knight
This story tells of the typcial day a Chinese family has running their shop. You'll hear the various stories of people sitting outside the shop, those who come in to buy and the family that runs the store.

Ages: 6 - 10

Cleanliness: mentions lottery tickets and there is a picture of heaven, angels, hell and devils that a little girl looks at.

#geography #southamerica #guatemala

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of ev
Margaret Boling
9/23/2018 ~~ I felt myself sink into this story set in Guatemala City at some point in the past (mule drawn carts in the town, but a description of a bus also). The narrator is the child of Chinese immigrants who opened a store in Guatemala. She tells of the story of a typical day of her parents minding the store, her family home behind the store, the meals they eat, and the Mayan Indians who come to shop for thread. The illustrations are spectacular and I enjoyed the look at a culture beyond my ...more
A nice picture book about a girl whose family is ethnic Chinese immigrants to Guatemala. A young girl tells the story of her experience at the store in which her family sells items to local people who speak Spanish or Mayan languages. Her parents have friends who hail from the same hometown in China and they enjoy talking about news they get from home and others who have emigrated elsewhere. The family continues to eat Chinese food and speak Chinese while learning Spanish and the other languages ...more
Jenna M
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mama & Papa Have a Store is a unique tale about a girl in Guatemala City with her family. Her parents own a Chinese store that adds Spanish, Chinese, and Mayan cultures to the story. The young girl realizes that her community is filled with diversity. I believe this would be an excellent time to introduce introspection for students to think about their lives and the impact of differing cultures. The sentences are short and easy to comprehend, and the illustrations are colorful and detailed, perf ...more
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nice book about a family who lives in Guatemala City and the parents own a shop and sell things. It tells the story about what they do day to day living. It is a good family story and you can see that the family is close.
Molly Leffler
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cultural
I enjoyed this book. It was kind of long and feel like students may lose attention. It would be good for learning other cultures
A day, a life, and a beautiful lifestyle told with a gentle, evocative, and powerful telling. Life of immigrants and the way they make the life.
Jessica Pinnick
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diversity
This is a great book from the little girls point of view.
Dalton Prather
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed seeing the vibrant culture in every page. Marvelous.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book about a Chinese family who immigrated to Guatemala and lived the life of shopkeepers. True story!!!! Beautiful illustrations with the feel of both cultures.
Mar 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Mama& Papa Have a Store by Amelia Lau Carling was published in 1998 by Dial Books for Young Readers. The story details a day in the life of a young girl whose parents own “a Chinese store” in Guatemala City. Through the narrative, we meet the regular cast of characters who surround the store daily, as well as travelers from “an Indian village far away” who have come to the store to buy thread that they will turn into clothing. We learn how the girl’s family left China during World War II and ha ...more
Maria Salinas
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Main Characters: little girl, mom,dad
Setting: Guatemala/Store
POV: Narrator
Grade Level: k-2
Reading Level: 4.3
Genre: multicultural/ realistic fiction
Award: Pura Belpre

This is a story about a Chinese girl spending the day in her parent’s store. She describes every detail that happens during the day. From when the milk man goes to their store until late night when the store is closed. Throughout the day many people from different cultures stop at her parents store to buy many things. She is curi
If you look hard enough, you can find a good number of immigrant stories among children's literature available in the States. But, it's MUCH harder to find a story like this. Author Amelia Lau Carling's parents fled their village in China during the Japanese invasion in 1938. They emigrated to Guatemala City and ran a successful general store. Drawing on her experiences growing up, Carling depicts in her book a day in the life of a family like her own -- growing up surrounded by Spanish, Chinese ...more
This is a great picture book memoir that is truly multicultural. The Lau family left China during World War II because the Japanese wee attacking. They made a new life in Guatemala City. Here they learned Spanish and became part of the community.

I appreciated seeing this part of history. We think of displaced Jews during WWII, but the war was happening in many places and others also fled their countries.
Scarlett Sims
The most interesting thing about this book is the mixing of cultures. It is about Chinese immigrants living in Guatemala. It's a children's picture book, so there isn't a ton of hidden depth or anything, but it definitely show children how two cultures both different from our own can be blended together. ...more
Lourdes Ryczek
I was not aware that there had been a Chinese immigration to Guatemala so I was happily surprised by this story of a young Chinese girl and the cultural mix of her Chinese family into Guatemalan culture. Her family owns a textile company. I was surprised that this 1998 Américas winner depicts the indigenous Guatemalan as Indians. The illustrations are colorful and cheerful.
The most interesting thing about this book is the mixing of cultures. It is about Chinese immigrants living in Guatemala. It's a children's picture book, so there isn't a ton of hidden depth or anything, but it definitely show children how two cultures both different from our own can be blended together ...more
Jan 18, 2009 added it
Shelves: pura-belpre
2000 Pura Belpre Honor Book Award for Illustration.
2000 Washington Irving Children's Choice Honor Book Award.
1998 Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature.
1998 List of Notable Books in the field of Social Studies.

Age: 4-8?

Laree Brown
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is a great read!!I think that children will enjoy reading this story. The author describes the different cultural experiences that a chinese girl encounters while working in her parents store.
Rebecca Sharp
In this Pura Belpre Honor book, a little girl describes what life is like for her family, Chinese immigrants to Guatemala during World War II. The watercolor illustrations are warm and the story introduces both Spanish words and Chinese themes.
Dani Paiz
This book is very good for vocabulary. It tells of the life of a young girl in Guatemala City. Good for having children explore other cultures. I'd recommend it for ages 3-6. It was a little text heavy. ...more
Christie Suh
A Chinese-fiction story about a girl who brings us to her home. She hears a mixture of languages througout the day. A good multicultural book.
Kelley Mcalhany
a girl talks about the store her family runs. Good for writing lessons and text to self connections.
Dec 20, 2010 added it
Shelves: 4th-grade
Cultural Ties - unit 5
Theme Library
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5360-summer-12
A young girl talks about what life is like in her parents’ Chinese store in Guatemala City.
Ashley Greenfield
A good book to use when you are discussing culture with students.
Kelly Triplett
An excellent book to use to introduce or discuss cultural differences with students.
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