The strength of family and the importance of pursuing one's dreams are the bedrock of middle-grade author Medina's (Milagros: Girl from Away) lyrical first picture book.
Besides the pleasant story, the interwoven Spanish and references to "Helping Money" and families divided by immigration may make the book particularly appealing to immigrant Latino children.
The use of Spanish words throughout the book offers a learning tool, and the book can be used to show teamwork and determination. The watercolor illustrations reflect the fun, loving text in this appealing book.
—Library Media Connection
Always true to the child's viewpoint, the story shows how hard it is to be separated from loved ones and how long it can take to reunite, and the lively, unframed illustrations in pencil, watercolor, and ink extend the sense of warmth and longing, first in the small room the girl shares with her aunt, then in the climax of everyone rushing into the waves, together at last.
The soft watercolor illustrations mirror rather than extend the text, a real strength for children more fluent in Spanish than English; they can visually follow the narrative told primarily in English but sprinkled with familiar phrases. Beginning readers will also find a satisfying story, with illustrations aiding their reading.
A pleasant selection about ambition, resourcefulness, and never letting go of one's dreams.
—School Library Journal
The picture of family life is easygoing but evocative, with Spanish words in dialogue effectively woven into the English text, and the close comradeship between the glamorous young aunt and the narrator is one that many youngsters will envy... Anybody who's felt trapped at home in a hot summer will recognize the lure of freedom and the glee of an open-air drive.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
This gentle story about the unbreakable bonds of family (and the joy of a sweet set of wheels) is as refreshing as a cool sea breeze on a summer day, and a lovely way to start a conversation with a youngster about their own family history.