Tia Isa Wants a Car

Meg Medina, Claudio Munoz (2011), Candlewick Press

Tia Isa has a big idea – to get a car so that the family can all go to the beach. In her mind’s eye the car is “the same shiny green as the ocean that lapped outside my bedroom window” when she was a small girl. When Tia Isa tells others of her idea, there’s mixed reactions: Tia’s niece (the book’s narrator) is equally excited and wants a car with “pointy wings off the back;” while Tio Andres merely laughs, “Ridiculo.” Tia Isa just whistles on, continuing to stir the bean soup bubbling on the stove. Together Tia and her niece hatch a plan, start saving, and eventually head to the used car lot to pick out that shiny green convertible big enough for the entire extended family to get away to the beach.

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Talk with a child about this book

This story showed how two people can work together to make something happen. Can you think of a time when you had an idea and worked with someone to make it happen?

What did Tio Andres think of this idea? Did he help make it happen? Did Tia and her niece consider what Tio thought before they started saving for the car? Why or why not? Should they have?

Tia and her niece went shopping before they had enough money saved. How do you think this made them feel when they realized they couldn’t buy a car? Did this stop them from continuing to try?

Tia’s niece doesn’t have a job to earn money. How did she end up helping contribute?

Tia’s niece asks,“Why does it take so long to save?” Tia Isa answers “Sometimes it’s hard to wait for good things to happen.” How do you think this made Tia’s niece feel?