|Image: Penguin Young Readers|
My Papi has a motorcycle by Isabel Quintero. Illustrated by Zeke Peña. unpgd. Kokila/ Penguin Young Readers, May, 2019. 9780525553410. (Review of arc courtesy of publisher.)
The pair who brought us the beautiful Photographic: the life of Graciela Iturbide slides down the age grouping from YA to the very youngest of readers to celebrate a sweet bonding activity between father and daughter. In this story based on the author's own memories, Daisy knows all about the workings of a motorcycle engine thanks to her Papi. She awaits the sound of his truck pulling into the driveway of their modest home and greets him with a huge hug. The two strap on their helmets and hop on Papi's electric blue motorcycle to cruise the neighborhood.
Family and community are important to Daisy. She notes landmarks with pride and mourns the loss of stores and the citrus groves that brought many of her neighbors to the area for work.
This picture book, though not a graphic novel, has speech bubbles, the occasional panel and artistic elements and details that give it a graphic novel feel. Daisy seems to be a graphic novel fan. Don't miss the shout out to Low Riders in Space. Is it my imagination or did Peña also borrow an image of Raul the Third's for Daisy's brother's tee shirt?
The palette, while colorful is a tad muted but maintains energy through the use of swooshes and zig-zag lines and onomatopoeia. The dialogue incorporates both Spanish and English. The mood is celebratory yet contemplative.
My Papi has a motorcycle belongs in every school and public library and would make a terrific read aloud.