About the BookA roomful of students begins a sharing circle wherein they write down the things they wish others knew, such as "I wish you knew that my father's been deported" or "I wish you knew that I live in a shelter."
When Estrella's father has to leave becausehe wasn't born here, like her, She misses him. And she wishes people knew the way it affects her. At home. At school. Always. But a school wrapped around a hundred-year-old oak tree is the perfect place to share and listen. Some kids miss family,
Kramer's homage to the "I Wish My Teacher Knew" movement draws attention to the many hardships children experience at home while still trying to succeed in school. The examples given are particularly poignant. Mora's soft, mixed-media illustrations reflect a diverse and dynamic classroom and sympathetically portray many of the challenges faced by children. For success in school, the importance of empathy and compassion can't be overstated.--Kirkus ReviewsAt the center of Estrella's school is an old oak tree--a locus for the children and their teacher to explore, learn, play, and share their thoughts and fears. . . A teacher sees Estrella and, with the help of the all-knowing oak, finds a way to invite her and the other students to share the things they wish the teacher knew. . . This mediation on social and emotional communication will prompt readers, old and young, to open up about their vulnerabilities.--Booklist Kramer's latest tells the story of Estrella, a young girl whose father was not born in the United States as she was. During the school year, he has to return to his home country and Estrella is left to deal with his absence. . . VERDICT: Estrella and her classmates' experiences are all too common and children will relate, if not for themselves, for others, to this compassionate recommended purchase.--School Library Journal
About the Author
Jackie Azúa Kramer studied acting and voice at New York University and earned her MA at Queens College for Counseling in Education. Jackie has worked as an actor, singer, and school counselor. Her work with children presented her with an opportunity to address their concerns, secrets and hopes through storytelling. Now she spends her time writing children's picture books. Jackie's books include the award-winning The Green Umbrella (a Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year), If You Want to Fall Asleep, and The Boy and the Gorilla. Jackie lives with her family in Long Island, New York. When not writing, you'll find Jackie reading, watching old movies and travelling to her family's roots in Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Spain.Magdalena Mora is a Minneapolis-based illustrator and graphic designer with a special interest in children's books and visual storytelling. She has also illustrated Deborah Diesen's Equality's Call. When not drawing, she spends her free time reading, people-gawking, and trying to find the best tacos in the Twin Cities. Mostly the latter.