cover image Lupe & Me

Lupe & Me

Elizabeth Spurr. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $13 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-15-200522-1

Susan becomes great friends with Lupe, the Mexican woman who keeps house and watches the girl while her mother works. Lupe shows her how to make Mexican foods and crafts, stuffs a pinata for Christmas and bakes special sweets for Susan's birthday. And each day Lupe teaches the child Spanish words, gracefully worked into the text so that readers, too, will easily absorb their meaning. Susan is understandably distressed when Lupe abruptly disappears without a trace; a letter eventually arrives, explaining Lupe's fear of la migra. Susan's mother, hitherto unaware of Lupe's status, explains that Lupe must have immigrated illegally. In the final chapter, entitled ""Waiting,"" Susan does just that-hoping that her beloved Lupe will someday obtain a green card and return. Sanchez's (Abuela's Weave) grainy, slightly primitive, acrylic-on-canvas paintings blaze with rich color and convey the warmth of the relationship between Susan and Lupe. An extensive glossary of the Spanish introduced in the story appears at the end. Ages 6-10. (Apr.)