cover image My Papi Has a Motorcycle

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

Isabel Quintero, illus. by Zeke Peña. Kokila, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-525-55341-0

When Papi gets home from work in his gray truck, his daughter is ready for their ritual, a nightly motorcycle ride: “I run outside with both of our helmets.” Together, they zip through their California city, passing the market, the church, and murals that show “our history—of citrus groves and the immigrants who worked them.” The landscape is changing: Papi and his fellow carpenters are building new houses where the groves once stood, and the shaved ice shop has gone out of business. Quintero and Peña, the team behind Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, conjure up the ride’s sights and sounds with sensory immediacy—the girl grasps her father’s sawdusty shirt, sun-bleached pinks and oranges convey the lingering heat of evening, and stray cats run in front of the rumbling bike as neighborhood sounds reach the riders. Fresh graphic novel style art offers all the glory of a ride (“VROOOM”), and speech in balloons is a mix of Spanish and English alongside the English-only text. The love between the girl and her father is palpable, but her connection to her city (fleshed out in an author’s note about Corona, Calif.) is at the story’s heart. Ages 4–8. [em](May) [/em]