cover image La Guitarrista

La Guitarrista

Lucky Diaz, illus. by Micah Player. HarperCollins, $19.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-325415-2

The creators of Paletero Man deliver a vibrant rhyming celebration of an L.A. neighborhood community and one Latinx-cued child’s determination to find “the song in my heart.” When Canta, who loves to admire the expensive guitars at a local shop, finds a broken guitar in a dumpster, the story’s young narrator enlists neighbors’ help in repairing it before joining the “cool” kids at music school. Classmates mock the child’s sound, but a supportive teacher, Señora Clemente, encourages Canta to “Tune those doubts out!” Diaz’s text flows smoothly between English and Spanish as a refrain of “Strum! Strum! Strum!” propels Canta’s journey from observer to performer. Emotions leap from Player’s warm-palette digital illustrations, which utilize emanata and deep perspective to create a sense of movement and passionate energy around Canta’s larger-than-life dreams. Ages 4–8. (May)