cover image Yenebi’s Drive to School

Yenebi’s Drive to School

Sendy Santamaria. Chronicle, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-7972-1629-4

A Latinx child narrates their family’s lengthy morning commute, across hours and over a border, in Santamaria’s vividly rendered, memorable debut. Awakened at 4 a.m. by Mami’s voice, Yenebi prepares for the day ahead: “I pack my backpack. I pack my sister’s too.” Wrapped in blankets, the two snuggle into the backseat of Mami’s car. “When we get on the road, every morning, I confront my archenemy... La Linea”—cars waiting to cross the border from Mexico to the U.S. As Yenebi and Mami debate how long it will take, vendors walk between the cars selling goods, while roadside carts offer “anything from avena to tacos al vapor.” Digital illustrations mimic the bold texture of gouache, depicting the slow crawl of traffic, while the family’s bilingual conversations render a close-knit family’s everyday trip in this warm slice-of-life tale. A Spanish edition publishes simultaneously. Ages 3–5. (June)