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Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas

(Juana and Lucas #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  67 reviews
When her mami meets someone new, Juana worries that everything will change in a humorous, heartwarming follow-up to the Pura Belpré Award-winning Juana & Lucas.

Juana's life is just about perfect. She lives in the beautiful city of Bogotá with her two most favorite people in the world: her mami and her dog, Lucas. Lately, though, things have become a little less
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  193 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Wendi Lee
I really enjoyed this early elementary chapter book about Juana, a little girl whose mother is going to get married. It addresses all the anxiety of a child in a situation, with the overall message that a parent's love for a child will never diminish, even when family members are added. The illustrations are charming, and I loved that Juana refused to be a flower girl because she thought the role was insipid. So great!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC.
This is the second book in this early chapter book about a young school girl in Bogata.

And big changes are coming, because her mother is going to get married, and she isn't sure about that, as most children would be.

And in between all this, we get Spanish vocabulary thrown in, so that you can figure out what the word is because of the context.

Juana and Lucas

Juana and Lucas

THe pictures of Juana and her dog Lucas are delightful. The images of the city of Bogota is great, and this is a much more engaging book that the first one
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Juana lives with her mami and her perro Lucas in Bogotá, Columbia. Everything is lovely until Mami suddenly has a new haircut. And is wearing perfume. And lots of lipstick.

Suddenly, Juana has problemas. Big problemas.

It turns out that Mami has met Luis. And they are getting married. When Juana learns this, she tells us, "My held melted and became one big chocolate-flavored puddle."

At eighty-four pages, and with full-color illustrations on each page, this is the perfect early chapter book for
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars. This is the second book in this early chapter series Juana and Lucas about a young girl living with her mother and dog in Bogotá. She is happy and loves things the way they are, but when her mami meets Luis and they plan to get married, Juana is worried how this will change everything. Even though she likes being with Luis and he teaches her stuff, she still wishes that her life would go back to the way it was before Luis was around. The story deals with her feelings and how she is ...more
Alex  Baugh
This sequel to Juana & Lucas, begins just as Juana is realizing that her just about perfect life has become a little less perfect lately. It starts when she notices that her mother is wearing her hair differently, using more perfume, more lipstick and even singing. And lately Juana has also been spending more time with her abuelos, or with her abuelo's sister Cecilia, nicknamed Piti, or she has been staying with her cousins Cami Pipe, which is nice since Lucas can come, too. But Juana misses ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
For as long as she remembers, Juana's immediate family has consisted of herself, her Mami, and her dog Lucas. But, suddenly, things are changing. Mami is wearing her hair in a different, fussy way that Juana doesn't like, and Mami is also wearing perfume and lipstick more often. Mami also has a new friend, Luis, who likes photography and jazz and occasionally takes Juana and Mami to his country house for a weekend. (Actually, Juana finds that she also likes photography and jazz, and she really ...more
Denise Hershberger
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! It will be perfect for read aloud with my third graders especially because about half of them speak Spanish! I loved all of the Spanish sprinkled in and especially loved the Colombian culture throughout the book!

One of the greatest strengths of this book is truly the illustrations. They are fantastic!

I loved how this book tackled a real life situation a lot of kids go through when their parents are separated, divorced, or widowed. It is so important for kids to see themselves
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Winter break bookaday #9. Easy/beginning chapter book, nicely follows the first book as Juana’s family is experiencing a big change. Love the pics, love Lucas, and especially love the personal connections I make to the book with my year in Colombia so many years ago: spherical bunelos, chocolate con queso, and visiting the finca!
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
Me amor Juana y Lucas! I was delighted to discovered that Juana Medina wrote another book featuring Juana and Lucas. This autobiographical book chronicles her mother and stepfather's courtship and wedding from the achingly honest perspective of Juana. Readers are rewarded with an adorable picture from the wedding at the end of the book. I hope there are mas Juana and Lucas books in the future.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a perfect early chapter book. Juana's voice is clever and endearing (so is Lucas). The pictures are fun, and interestingly presented, and they break up the text nicely (some illustrating the story, some character sketches with relevant information about the people, some labeled like a diagram or accompanied by lists) so the chapters are not overwhelming. Readers will be able relate to her trepidation and excitement about big changes in her life. I'll definitely read this with my smalls.
Afoma Umesi
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ADORED this one! Juana is a spirited voice in the world of chapter books. BIG PROBLEMAS follows her as she adapts to her mother finding love again and remarrying. Excellent writing many children will enjoy. BIG PLUS: it's set in Colombia! I'll be reading the first one in the series after this! Thanks to Candlewick Press for a digital galley.
Mary Lee
2019 Summer Book a Day #2

Love that Juana can see the Andes Mountains from her window!
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had a blast reading Juana and Lucas: Big Problems. Author and illustrator Juana Medina, like the main character in her book, is from Bogotá, Columbia. I know some bilingual teachers who would be uncomfortable with the code switching in this book; I love it. For me, inserting some Spanish words in places where the context or illustrations make the word meanings plain adds color and flavor to this chapter book written mainly in English.

Juana, her Mami, and her dog Lucas have an almost perfect
Virginia McGee Butler
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Juana Medina delves into her own childhood in Colombia for her first book Juana and Lucas, winner of the 2017 Pura Belpre Award, and this sequel, Juana and Lucas Big Problemas. Life for Juana and for Lucas, her canine sidekick and best friend, borders on perfection in a city that smells of eucalyptus and fresh fruit with good neighbors who always welcome her into their home as long as she takes off her muddy sneakers before stepping on their carpet. Mami, her mother, is pretty fantastic, and her ...more
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
The first book in this series won the Pura Belpre Author Award in 2017. This second book continues to use the author’s own childhood in Bogota, Colombia as inspiration. Juana’s life is wonderful. She has her dog, Lucas, and her mother. But lately, her mother has been making some changes. Her hair is different and she has a boyfriend. Luis is nice and kind to Juana, but it’s a lot of change to deal with. When the two decide to get married and move to a new home, Juana is brokenhearted. But even ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read the first book in the series, but this one I absolutely loved. It's darling, you can see the child's perspective clearly without any adult interference.

There are a lot of basic Spanish words thrown in and I couldn't love this more! Yes, you or the child read to might not understand every Spanish word, but if you read the whole sentence or the whole paragraph it makes sense because the context helps. It's a great book to read to kids who are interested in learning Spanish.

Terrie Case
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book addresses several problems/concerns of Juana: new stepdad, moving, leaving friends, and weddings. It emphasizes family with the fun and support that comes from them.

Juana is a young girl and Lucas her beloved dog. The story is written from Juana’s POV. This allows her to state in a short sentence(s). The writing is fluent even though the writing style changes from lists to narrative and back. Some words in the book are in Spanish. It allows children to recognize and pronounce the
Dear Juana is back, telling the story of what her life is like recently, still loving her wonderful dog, Lucas. This time Juana tells the story and sometimes there are what I might call "list" pages with colorful illustrations to accompany them. For instance, she begins with why her life is "Almost Perfect". She includes her city, her Mami and Abuelos, her neighbors, and of course, her dog, Lucas. Lately, life is not so perfect because her Mami has a new hairdo and a new amigo names Luis. Juana ...more
Juana Medina Rosas, a confident and sassy young girl from Bogotá, Colombia, loves living with her mother and her dog, Lucas, in a just-about perfect life (her home, her extended family--abuelos, aunt, cousins, neighbors--and her school). When Mami changes to a fancy hairstyle, begins wearing more perfume, sings more canciones, and brings her friend Luis around, Juana learns that things are about to change for her, and she doesn’t like change. Brightly-colored ink and watercolor illustrations ...more
Cynthia Parkhill
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun, engaging story about a young girl, Juana, which was based upon the author's childhood in Bogotá, Colombia. In this series installment, Juana is coping with changes that are brought by her mother's new relationship. I see this book helping young readers who might face similar circumstances: Juana's Mami becoming engaged, getting married, and moving the family to a new home. Some especially nice touches: Juana's preference for wearing pants to dresses is presented as valid. ("Girls who want ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The format of this cross-over book is my favorite aspect of a cute story about a girl who loves her dog and maybe feels kinda-okay about getting a potential new step-parent. The illustrations are ADORBS and full of charm and fun details, Juana's voice is funny and uplifting (even when she's grumbling), and the book is part comic/part picture book/part lifestyle catalog with two-page spreads where Juana goes into detail about some aspect of her life, or another. Plot-wise, the tension in this ...more
“Lately, Mami has been spending a lot of time elsewhere. Without me. A. LOT.”

Juana has been spending a lot of time with her cousins, because Mami has a new boyfriend, Luis. And though Juana loves her cousins, she misses spending time with her Mami. And she wonders how life would be different if her father hadn’t have died. “Mami was sad for a very long time.”

When Mami decides to marry Luis, Juana isn’t sure how it’s going to work. “So many questions. So many mysteries.” But Mami explains that
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, bilingual
Juana is a happy, independent little girl who loves her dog, Lucas. She has become use to a life with just her and her mamí but worry creeps in when her mamí’s relationship with Luis, mamí’s boyfriend changes and they begin planning a wedding.

Juana’s honesty about her feelings over the changing relationship will engage readers going through a similar situation. Juana Medina also shares the beauty of Bogotá, Columbia, the countryside, the city and the wonderful foods eaten which will provide
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, read-alouds
My youngest was immediately drawn to this library book because of the cute dog on the cover but as we read it together, I quickly realized this was more than a sweet story about a girl named Juana and her dog Lucas.

It’s really the story of how Juana and her mami have surrounded themselves with people they love and trust since the death of Juana’s father. But now, her mami wants to bring someone new into their circle and Juana isn’t so sure about the changes that will come along with letting this
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Thanks NetGalley for the advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review!
Juana loves her family, her dog Lucas, and her life. Things change when her Mami stars dating a new man, Luis, and we follow along with her through all the changes that come along. As an early chapter book for kids I thought this was a solidly good selection. It's got some words in Spanish throughout as well which was great representation for Latinx communities that are having these blended lifestyles. I loved that
Katie Nash
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book, it made me feel so many emotions and it was so heartwarming. It is about Juana and her dog, and her Mami meeting someone that she ends up marrying. Juana feels many different ways during the book and she’s not afraid to hide those feelings! I would read this book aloud to my students because it also has Spanish words throughout the text, which I think will help them understand her culture more about living in Colombia and it would be a good book to talk about as a whole class.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas by Juana Medina is the 2nd book in the Juana and Lucas series. Juana lives in Bogotá, Colombia, she loves her dog, and the books are really just about her life. There are Spanish words throughout the book giving kids the perfect opportunity to figure out their meanings. In Big Problemas, Juana is nervous about her mom having a new boyfriend. It’s another perfect read-aloud for K-2. In fact, Ms. Leathers, a fantastic 1st grade teacher, read the first book to her ...more
Juana's mama has been acting strange lately... Turns out she has a new friend Luis, and they tell Juana that they will be getting married soon. Juana thought she had the perfect life, but now everything will be changing. A story about accepting the changes, the good and the bad, told by Juana with colorful accompanying cartoons.

This series is unique because it is written by an American but set in Colombia, the land of her birth. How fun for kids to read a story about a child living in another
Becky B
Juana is not excited when her Mami starts spending less time with her and more with a man named Luis. Yes, Luis has a fun vacation house with lots of animals. And no, he isn't too bad. But Juana likes things the way they are. What will happen to her life if Mami and Luis get married?

Juana has to face the very real issue of change. She comes out of it able to see both the pros and cons, mostly more pros than she thought. It's a cute, relatable story that weaves in Spanish vocabulary frequently.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love that this early chapter book is set in Bogata, Columbia, written by a native of the city. And I love the authentic voice of Juana as she processes changes in her world in a childlike way. I also like the smooth integration of Spanish terms into the text, without unneeded translation. However, this also makes the book less successful for ELL students whose native language isn't English. That being said, I do highly recommend this for most beginning chapter book readers. Review based on an ...more
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Juana Medina was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. She is the illustrator of Smick! by Doreen Cronin and the author-illustrator of One Big Salad. Juana Medina has studied and taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and now teaches at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Other books in the series

Juana and Lucas (2 books)
  • Juana & Lucas