My Papi Has a Motorcycle

MyPapiHasAMotorcycleMy Papi Has a Motorcycle
Written by Isabel Quintero, Illustrated by Zeke Peña

Publisher’s Summary:
When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her.

Primary Source Pairing:
Author Isabel Quintero writes in her Author’s Note that My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a love letter to her father and the city of Corona, California. In an NPR interview from August 2019, Isabel Quintero shares that she and illustrator Zeke Peña spent time driving around her old neighborhood which is beautifully depicted in the illustrations of the book. Though Quintero’s descriptive text and Peña’s radiant illustrations, readers feel as if they are on the motorcycle themselves. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study a photograph from 1913 of the Corona Speedway which makes a circle through the city. In the Author’s Note, Isabel Quintero writes she actually grew up in a house that was located the middle of the old racetrack!

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What’s happening in the image?
  • Make a connection to what you see in this image to something you read in the book My Papi Has a Motorcycle.
  • How do the illustrations help you visualize the story?
  • What is the setting of this book?
  • Why is the setting important?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
‘My Papi Has A Motorcycle’ Pays Loving Tribute To A California Childhood: NPR interview
Corona Speedway, start of the medium & heavyweight auto race: Library of Congress

Additional Resource:
My Papi Has a Motorcycle is available as an audiobook and read by author Isabel Quintero. Available from Titlewave.