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My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña

You don’t have to imagine how Daisy feels when her Papi reaches home. You don’t have to try to hear the motorcycle revving in this story. You don’t have to visit Corona to experience what life was like just a short while ago. You don’t have to wonder at the team’s purpose in writing and illustrating this book. Each sense is redoubled through the text, and cued illustrations in this work.
It’s wonderfully peaceful to be able to connect on so many levels to a story. I imagine that many are nostalgic about events and objects long gone. I imagine that when we try, we can hear the tenderness of voice, feel the warmth of an embrace or touch, and see the love in the eyes of those we treasure. Quintero and Peña capture all this and more in My Papi Has a Motorcycle.
I’ve used this book across the curriculum. It works as we study families and family feelings in Social Studies. It works as we study writers craft in writer’s workshop. It works as we practice our storybook superpowers in Reader’s Workshop. Kindergarteners loved rereading this story. I’m sure we will be pulling this one from the pile many more times to come.

Here’s how Kindergartners connected to the story.

“I like how Daisy hugs her daddy. I hug my daddy like that too. He lets me run and jump and he catches me.”

“I know those words. They’re Spanish. I have a papi too, but he’s not my dad. He’s my grandfather. I call him Papi. He makes good food.”

“I like the blue motorcycle. I would be scared to be on a motorcycle. The girl doesn’t look scared. She looks like it it’s fun”

“My mommy has a tool kit. She had hammers, nails, a screwdriver, the thing that you use to hold the thing so you can’t move it. I helped her put my sisters chair together.”

“I think this is a good story because the people are happy and it’s good when you feel happy.”

“I think other people should read this book because it will remind you to love your family and you can be safe and happy with your family.”

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