The Best Family in the World

Susana Lopez, Author, Ulises Wensell, Illustrator , illus. by Ulises Wensell. EDC/Kane Miller $15.99 (28p) ISBN 978-1-935279-47-1

In this Spanish import, when the director of an orphanage tells Carlota that a family is coming to adopt her tomorrow, she spends the night in a fever of anticipation. Maybe they'll be a family of pastry chefs! Or pirates! Or tiger trainers! (“She'd live at the circus!... She'd take a Bengal tiger to school, and she'd be the most popular girl at recess”). Wensell's (Paul and Sebastian ) Carlota imagines many scenarios; her circus parents putting the tigers through their paces, her pirate parents looking on fondly while she uncovers buried treasure, her astronaut parents holding her hands as she floats through space. Her real new family turns out to be quite ordinary, but they clearly adore her and have all the exoticism she needs: “Roberto, Carlota's new father.... isn't a pirate, but he loves digging for buried treasure in the vacant lot next door.” Lopez handles Carlota's situation with delicacy, and Wensell's friendly faces reassure readers that Carlota is in good hands. It's a useful adoption story and a reminder that sometimes what we end up with is what we actually wanted all along. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/01/2010
Release date: 01/01/2010
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