Graciela lives in a Central American country south of Mexico. Because of a drought, her father, "Papi," must leave their home to travel to the United States and work on a farm in California. Graciela is sad that Papi can't be with her at their home to celebrate her seventh birthday. But, Papi has promised to send Graciela a special birthday present tied in red string in the mail. On the front of the package will be her name: Graciela Maria Reyes Rivera. Each day, Graciela checks the mail, and each day, she does not find a present. Graciela is angry and disappointed. Then she has a thought: maybe Papi could use a gift himself. Author Karen Stanton's moving story - selected as an IRA Notable Book for a Global Society - features warm illustrations by Rene Moreno. This picture book celebrates the special relationship and bond between a father and daughter, despite a separation, and highlights a child's selfless act of love.
School Library Journal says: "Touching. . . . A few Spanish words and phrases add authenticity to the engaging text. . . . A strong addition to the growing body of picture books with Hispanic themes and characters."
- ISBN-13: 9781590784228
- ISBN-10: 1590784227
- Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
- Publish Date: April 2007
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 5-8
- Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.68 x 0.36 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.87 pounds
Papi's Gift written by Karen Stanton and illustrated by René King Moreno, is a different kind of Father's Day book. Stanton tells the story of Graciela, a seven-year-old girl in an unnamed South American country. Though she talks to her father every weekend, he has been away in California for so long that she fears she is forgetting his face. A drought in her country has forced her father to earn a living far away, and Graciela and her family miss him terribly. She waits and waits for a promised birthday package, but it never comes. On her birthday, her father explains, "I'm afraid it might be lost." But Graciela, like children everywhere, is not placated and retorts, "You promised it would be here for my birthday." Gentle pastels highlight the loving family, even when they are heartbroken with worry and loneliness. Papi might live far away, but he is an important member of this family. Many children have fathers who work in distant places and Papi's Gift serves as a reminder that no matter how far away he is, a father is always a father.