Estela's SwapAuthor Alexis O'Neill Illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez ISBN 9781584300441 Binding Trade Cloth Publisher Lee & Low Books Publication Date November 06, 2002 Size 216 x 254 mm
Estela is excited. This is her first time at Swap Meet, and she is looking forward to selling her music box to earn money for folk dancing lessons at the Ballet Folklórico.
As Estela waits for customers, a strong wind suddenly sends everything flying. Estela rushes to help a woman selling flowers across the way, but she is too late. All the flowers are gone! Estela decides on a simple act of compassion and generosity, which brings her the gift of friendship and a delightful surprise.
Estela's Swap is sure to resonate with all children who have a special wish and work hard to make it come true. Readers will discover the joy of giving - and receiving, too.
Best of Beyond Difference
Vermont Center of the Book
Grades 1 - 4
Poverty, Sharing & Giving, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican Interest, Dreams & Aspirations
"O'Neill subtly weaves details of trades and bargaining into the fabric of her story to give readers a tangible taste of swaps or flea markets. Sanchez uses richly colored, bright acrylics to render the energy and bustle of a Swap Meet in his full-bleed illustrations The text is skillfully incorporated into the illustrations and the focus on each spread remains firmly on the plucky heroine. All in all, a wonderful bargain."
School Library Journal
"This is a warm, nicely paced story about sharing and bartering that's filled with sensory descriptions of the vibrant open market. The textured acrylics capture the hum and bustle of the stalls, but the colorful scenery doesn't overwhelm the story. Sanchez paints the characters in sharp focus, so that they pop out against the blurred, evocative background scenes. A good starting point for classroom discussion across the curriculum."
"Estela goes with her father and her brother to the Swap Meet, hoping to earn the ten dollars she needs to pay for folk-dancing lessons by selling a colorful music box that plays Cielito Lindo. After they have set up their stand, her father introduces her to the art of bargaining. Estela handles the customers' offers well, but no one wants to pay anywhere near the price she's asking. When a sudden gust of March wind blows away all the paper flowers of the friendly woman in a neighboring stand, Estela impulsively gives her the music box that no one has purchased. "Suddenly she knew what she had to do, even if it meant she wouldn't earn any money today." In a surprise ending that careful readers may anticipate, Estela is surprised to receive something wonderful in return. "'Since we are at a Swap Meet,' the woman said, 'it is only fair that we swap.'" Sanchez's colorful pastels effectively focus attention on the main characters and objects by delineating them clearly, while softening the outlines of the others. Seven Spanish names and expressions are included in a glossary and pronunciation guide...This is a well-crafted tale featuring a Mexican-American father and children will be wonderful for reading aloud to individuals or to groups."
Enrique O. Sanchez has illustrated numerous award winning children's books (see full list to the right). A native of the Dominican Republic, he splits his time between his homes in Bass Harbor, Maine, and Miami, Florida.