Return to Selection Menu
A Day's Work
Author/Editor: Eve Bunting
ISBN: 0395845181
Year Published: 1997
Format: Hardcover, Paperback 
Description: The author and illustrator of The Wall (1990) and Fly Away Home (1991) here tell a touching immigration story about the reversal of roles between child and adult. A small Mexican American boy, Francisco acts as interpreter for his abuelo, newly arrived in California and looking for work as a day laborer. The boy speaks English for his grandfather and pushes hard, even tells lies, to get him a job as a gardener. Abuelo's a carpenter, not a gardener, and he and Francisco pull out the flowers instead of the weeds. The employer is furious, but then abuelo takes charge and insists on working the next day without pay to put things right. Himler's watercolor and gouache paintings have warmth and urgency; they're sensitive without being maudlin. The characters of the all-male cast are wonderfully individualized: the lively boy in his Lakers cap is eager to make things happen; the grandfather is bewildered but with an inner certainty; the employer is angry but is no monster. In the tense competition among the laborers in the hiring yard, we feel the desperation of people without work. The family drama captures that universal immigrant experience in which the child must help the adult interpret the new world, while the wise adult still has much to teach the child about enduring values. Illustrated by Ronald Himler.
From: Booklist