In a story likely to leave readers thinking about class and privilege, a Latina girl named Felicia accompanies her Mamá to a gated mansion, where she works as a housecleaner. Felicia can’t resist exploring, peeking into a nursery and swinging on a backyard playscape, where the house’s pregnant owner joins her. Mrs. Fitzpatrick discusses her great-grandparents’ immigration from Ireland and gives Felicia a charm bracelet—Felicia adores it, though text and art reveal her mother’s discomfort with the gift. Barbieri draws clear parallels between the struggles and aspirations of immigrants past and present, while Fields’s illustrations practically glow with the promise of the “charmed life” Felicia desires. Her mother’s wistful closing line, “Yes, Felicia, you will have a very charmed life,” hints at the lengths to which parents will go for their children. Ages 4–8. (May)
I created a Pippi Longstocking cover and interior illustration for a promotional postcard that my agents are sending out. I always loved this book as a kid so I thought it would be fun to create this character.