Big Problemas (Juana and Lucas #2)

by Juana Medina (Author) Juana Medina (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Juana and Lucas

Juana's life is just about perfect. She lives in the beautiful city of Bogotá with her two most favorite people in the world: her mami and her dog, Lucas. Lately, though, things have become a little less perfect. Mami has a new hairdo and a new amigo named Luis with whom she has been spending a LOT of time. He is kind and teaches Juana about things like photography and jazz music, but sometimes Juana can't help wishing things would go back to the way they were before. When Mami announces that she and Luis are getting married and that they will all be moving to a new casa, Juana is quite distraught. Lucky for her, though, some things will never change -- like how much Mami loves her. Based on author-illustrator Juana Medina's own childhood in Colombia, this joyful series is sure to resonate with readers of all ages.


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Medina's illustrations are a wonderful addition to Juana's first-person narration, truly bringing her emotions and quirkiness to life. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text but are italicized so that monolingual young readers will get their meaning through context cues. Medina's charming follow-up to her Pura Belpré Award-winning Juana & Lucas (2016) doesn't disappoint.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
Medina's cartoon-style illustrations done in ink and watercolor are vibrant and full of movement, beautifully capturing the full range of Juana's conflicting emotions as Luis becomes a part of their lives. Juana's big problema will resonate with many readers, who will look forward to hearing more about this spunky Colombian girl's life.

Horn Book Magazine

Starred Review
In accessible chapters with plenty of white space and interspersed art, Medina guides readers through Juana's experiences, incorporating nuanced visual details into the drawings to help articulate Juana's thought processes and ranges of emotions. Through it all, Juana can always count on her family's steady and secure love to help solve even the biggest problemas. The result is a thriving, buoyant, confident young Juana who demonstrates that balancing new changes with old favorites is achievable and, indeed, can be done with humor and grace.

Review quotes

"This gentle book brims with full-color illustrations of sturdy, big-hearted Juana and her bright, cheery world. Peppered with Spanish, it gives younger readers a window into a life both different and very like their own." —The Plain Dealer
Juana Medina
Juana Medina was born and grew up in Bogotá, Colombia. At school, she got into trouble for drawing cartoon versions of her teachers. Eventually, however, all that drawing (and trouble) paid off. Juana Medina is the author-illustrator of Juana & Lucas, which won the 2017 Pura Belpré Author Award, and Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas. She is also the author-illustrator of the picture books 1 Big Salad, ABC Pasta, and Sweet Shapes, and the illustrator of Smick! by Doreen Cronin, Lena's Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma by Keith Calabrese, I'm a Baked Potato! by Elise Primavera, and Star of the Party by Jan Carr. Juana Medina lives with her family in the DC area.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781536201314
Lexile Measure
N/A
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publication date
May 20, 2019
Series
Juana and Lucas

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