Mariana and Her Familia
A sweet and heartwarming picture book about a young girl forming a connection with her family—and her Abuelita—on her first trip to Mexico from debut author Mónica Mancillas and rising-star illustrator Erika Meza.
Mariana’s tummy does a flip as she and Mami cross the Mexican frontera. Mariana is visiting her Abuelita and extended family for the first time.
There are all new sights, smells, and sounds.
And at Abuelita’s house, Mariana is overwhelmed by new faces and Spanish words she doesn’t understand.
But with a story, some kindness, and a few new words from Abuelita, Mariana discovers that the love of family knows no cultural divide.
Mónica Mancillas is an author, musician, and unapologetic dreamer. She is passionate about writing books in which children of all backgrounds can see themselves on the pages. A first-generation immigrant, her own story closely mirrors Mariana’s. She lives in California with her familia and their dog, Annie, a beta fish, and a lizard.
Erika Meza grew up in Mexico, moving from city to city. Because of that, her childhood homes are those of her grandparents, and she chose the Meza home for this book since it was the one where she could always find drawing paper. She went on to become an illustrator, and painted this book using memories of characters, objects, and cantera stone from her grandparents’ house while living in London (though maybe she’ll move again soon!).
"Mancillas and Meza’s picture book is a poignant reminder that, while loved ones may not speak the same languages, their affection and care for one another transcends any human language and is a language in and of itself. Mancillas’ touching story will be relatable to many first-, second-, and third-generation children and grandchildren of immigrants, who may be reconnecting with their own familias after time and distance apart." -Booklist (starred review)
"A child’s uncertainty in navigating the dual identities of a bicultural upbringing is affirmingly depicted in Mancillas’s insightful debut. Mancillas’s assured narrative, which rings with compassion, smatters Spanish words throughout English lines; in Meza’s watercolor pencil and gouache illustrations, Mariana swells with love that gives way to bright-eyed affection for a new place and new people." -Publishers Weekly
“Measured in its empathy, this tale admirably explores a familial scenario that many readers will understand all too well…. A sweet look at what familia can mean.” -Kirkus Reviews
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