Across the Bay

Carlos Aponte. Penguin Workshop, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5247-8662-5
Aponte (A Season to Bee) unmistakably writes from the heart in this story rooted in his childhood in Puerto Rico. Located across the bay from Old San Juan, Carlitos’s hometown of Cataño, where he lives with his loving mother and abuela, is ablaze with flowers and fruit trees—vibrantly portrayed in fluid, expressive cartoons that capture the tranquility of his village and the vitality of the city beyond. The observation that Carlitos’s family “didn’t look like the others” is confirmed when he and his mother enter a barbershop where other boys wait their turn alongside their fathers, prompting Carlitos to ask, “Mami, where is Papi?” Her response—that he is “across the bay” and that “sometimes things don’t work out”—incites Carlitos to sneak out of the house and ride a ferry to the city, a photo of Papi in his pocket. After no one he asks recognizes the man in the picture, the comforting words of a park ranger and Carlitos’s longing to see his family “calling from across the bay” impel him to return home—contentedly. A reflective, poignant portrait of loss, resilience, and the protean nature of family. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/13/2019
Release date: 09/17/2019
Genre: Children's
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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