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Mama and Papa Have a Store by Amelia Lau…

Mama and Papa Have a Store

by Amelia Lau Carling

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9117132,676 (3.26)None



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Lee & Low republished these out-of-print editions in both English and Spanish.

In 1938, the author’s parents fled their village in China before the Japanese invaded at the advent of World War II. Settling in Guatemala City, they raised their six children in the back of a grocery store, which sold all sorts of sundries.

Through detailed watercolor drawings, the author shares her memories of a typical day spent playing in the store with her brothers and sisters, meeting Mayan Indians who came from their faraway village to buy colorful thread, and interacting with Guatemalan and Chinese patrons. By the end of the book, readers will have a clear idea of what it was like for a hardworking Chinese immigrant family to make their way in a new world.

I would have preferred to have both the Spanish and English versions in a single book, rather than in two different books, as it would’ve been easier for children learning each language to see the opposite language as they practiced.

Recommended for ages 6-10.
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  sunshinealma | Dec 30, 2016 |
a book with some Spanish words that discusses a family that has a store and how they act as a family.
1 book
  TUCC | Nov 21, 2016 |
Demonstrates that other nation besides the US have families that have immigrated from Asia. Teacher will need to make clear the various cultures that are represented in this region.
  ccsdss | Apr 11, 2016 |
I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the fact that the book was about many different cultures interacting daily. The Chinese family owned a Chinese store in Guatemala City and spoke with customers in Spanish despite one family being an Indian family that shopped at the store. I believe it is important to show children how different cultures interact normally every day. I also liked that the story was told from the perspective of the little girl in the family. Having the story told by her gave the readers a better idea of how children view these interactions during the day. This also helped with explaining some aspects of the story like what the colors meant of the yarn that the Indian mother was buying. Another positive aspect of this book was showing how even with different cultures, adults can come together to take a break in the middle of the day and relax while the children play together. The part I did not like about the book was that there was no real "plot line." This story lacked a problem and solution as well as character development. Overall, the main idea of this book was to show how many different cultures can thrive in the same area. ( )
  zfrid | Mar 17, 2015 |
This realistic fiction story is about one day in the shoes of a young Chinese girl and her parents and siblings, who are all immigrants in Guatemala. They own a Chinese store, where they sell general things. The girl walks down the street and sees Don Chus, who sells pictures of saints, and the blind man who sells lottery tickets. An Indian family comes to their store and buys string to weave their clothes. Her mother speaks in broken Spanish to these customers, and the girl imagines all the animals and pictures that the woman will weave in her clothes. The Chinese bean curd seller comes and invites them to have tea, and the girl's parents speak with him in Chinese, talking about their past life in China. They take a lunch break, and then she goes up to the roof terrace. Back in the store, the lights go out during a rain storm, and everyone has to use flashlights. Once the lights come back on, they close up the store and end the day.
  jresner | Mar 10, 2015 |
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A little girl describes what a day is like in her parents' Chinese store in Guatemala City.

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