My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero

Cover

“Even though he comes home tired, he always has time for me.”

Daisy Ramona races through her hometown with her father on his motorcycle, taking in the sights and sounds of the people and places she loves. Through strong literary language and comic/graphic novel-style illustrations, Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña show the all that make up Daisy’s home. This picture book is suitable for any audience, but intermediate and older students will particularly love exploring the many layers of story and picture woven together. 

Teacher Thoughts

  • The illustrations provide a great opportunity to model how to move through the page of a more graphic text. Readers will navigate pictures, words, and how they interplay on the detailed pages. This book begs to be reread, as each subsequent reading unveils more details.
  • The book is filled with tender moments of love between Daisy and her father, that will provide great opportunities to teach about inference and finding evidence to support your inference. 
  • Readers who are exploring setting can see how important setting can be to a character – or almost a character in and of itself.
  • Older readers can dig into the author’s note to find more details about her childhood in Corona, California. There are great opportunities to discuss immigration, class, and home. As the author states in her author’s note: “Who are the people who build our cities and form our communities? Who are the people who get streets named after them, and who are the people who lay the asphalt? I think these are important questions, and ones I’ve thought about since I was a kid, and more so as an adult.” 

Kid Thoughts

  • Second graders were so interested in the Spanish punctuation marks! They were fascinated by the (to them) upside down question marks and exclamation points at the beginning of some sentences. This was a great chance to talk about the purpose of those marks and how different languages use them.
  • Third graders loved the pictures and illustrations – especially how Zeke Peña included words into the pictures. As the story went on, they began to notice all the mini-stories happening in the pictures – like the dog wanting the raspados at the end.

Vroom

“I liked how the author used both Spanish and English and I had to work to figure out what was being said because I don’t know Spanish.” -Third Grader

“I loved the author’s descriptive words, like how the sawdust from her dad’s hair was like a comet’s tail.” – Third Grader

Comet

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