Site Areas: 
Printer-friendly version   

Carmela Full of Wishes

Last updated Monday, August 3, 2020

Author: Matt de la Peña
Illustrator: Christian Robinson
Date of Publication: 2018
ISBN: 9780399549045
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2020

Synopsis: When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true - she's finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they travel through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería, until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish to make. . .

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think Carmela is wishing for?
•  Do you have dandelions in your yard?
•  Think of something you would like to wish for and share if you like.
•  Where do you think Carmela and her brother are going?


•  marigold - a plant of the daisy family, typically with yellow, orange, or copper-brown flowers, that is widely cultivated as an ornamental.
•  manure - animal dung used for fertilizing land. excrement, especially of animals, or other refuse used as fertilizer. any natural or artificial substance for fertilizing the soil.
•  bodega - (in the US) a small grocery store, especially in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood.
•  thrummed - making a continuous rhythmic humming sound.
•  spores - a small part of a plant or flower, similar to a seed

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What do Carmela and her brother see and do on their journey?
•  What do you see in your neighborhood?
•  Why did Carmela take off her bracelets on the way home?
•  Do you think you would like to know the wish Carmela made? Or is it better left up to the reader's imagination?
•  Do we need a flower to make a wish?
•  What are some other ways people like to make wishes? (pennies, birthday candles)

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a Dandelion ready for making a wish or draw what they would wish for.
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!