cover image I Am La Chiva! The Colorful Bus of the Andes

I Am La Chiva! The Colorful Bus of the Andes

Karol Hernández, illus. by Lorena Alvarez Gómez. Dial, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-5935-2920-1

“On breathtaking mountains, where coffee beans grow,/ I carry my friends to the green hills below.” In an exuberant debut, Hernández foregrounds La Chiva, “a colorful rustic bus used as public transportation in rural areas of Colombia,” per back matter. Written in bouyant rhyming quatrains from the vehicle’s perspective, La Chiva describes picking up passengers en route to the mercado in town. As the group makes its way (“We turn up the music and play vallenato./ We sing and have fun as we reach el mercado”), La Chiva breaks down, and the riders must band together to find a solution. Crisp rhymes in English and Spanish offer the feel of a bus bustling with animals and people, while Gómez’s digitally finished sketches contribute layered and saturated images of flora and fauna. An author’s note and glossary conclude this feel-good ride. Ages 2–5. (July)