Review: Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas by Juana Medina

Juana & Lucas Big Problemas by Juana Medina

Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas by Juana Medina (9781536201314)

The first book in this series won the Pura Belpre Author Award in 2017. This second book continues to use the author’s own childhood in Bogota, Colombia as inspiration. Juana’s life is wonderful. She has her dog, Lucas, and her mother. But lately, her mother has been making some changes. Her hair is different and she has a boyfriend. Luis is nice and kind to Juana, but it’s a lot of change to deal with. When the two decide to get married and move to a new home, Juana is brokenhearted. But even though things are changing, some things will always be true, like how much Juana is loved.

Medina shares how traumatic major life changes can be to children without minimizing their emotional strain. At the same time, Juana is a resilient child, who is constantly facing life with an inherent optimism that pays off. Medina focuses on hope and love throughout the book, never allowing it to bog down and keeping the pace brisk.

Throughout this early chapter book, Spanish words are sprinkled in a way that makes sense to English-speaking readers. The setting is used nicely in the story and factors heavily into the illustrations which are friendly and have a warm cartoon feel.

Another winner from Medina! Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.

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