All the Way to Havana
So we purr, cara cara, and we glide, taka taka, and we zoom, zoom, ZOOM! Together, a boy and his parents drive to the city of Havana, Cuba, in their old family car. Along the way, they experience the sights and sounds of the streets--neighbors talking, musicians performing, and beautiful, colorful cars putt-putting and bumpety-bumping along. In the end, though, it's their old car, Cara Cara, that the boy loves best.

All the Way to Havana Details

TitleAll the Way to Havana
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 29th, 2017
PublisherHenry Holt and Co. (BYR)
ISBN-139781627796422
Rating
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Cultural

All the Way to Havana Review

  • Shauna Yusko
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting look at a country we have lots of questions about.
  • Emily Scheinman
    January 1, 1970
    I love this book and I also love both the author and illustrator's note in the back.
  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    I know someone born in Cuba around 1956, who escaped from Cuba with his sister and mother carrying only a suitcase (their father, a physician, was detained, but much later also escaped). An older brother was previously sent to Miami via the Peter Pan Project to avoid conscription into Castro's military. Miraculously, there were all reunited a number of years later.I thought about this family as I read this book, thinking this could have been them before they left the country! I am anxious to sho I know someone born in Cuba around 1956, who escaped from Cuba with his sister and mother carrying only a suitcase (their father, a physician, was detained, but much later also escaped). An older brother was previously sent to Miami via the Peter Pan Project to avoid conscription into Castro's military. Miraculously, there were all reunited a number of years later.I thought about this family as I read this book, thinking this could have been them before they left the country! I am anxious to show him this book and hear his stories of this time. His mother will not even discuss this part of their life.Thus, at first I thought this book is making a difficult era look fun and exciting, but this takes place just before Castro took over. Also, this is told through the eyes of a child, where a trip to the city would certainly be an adventure, and I appreciated the pride he took in helping his dad fix anything. After I read the Author's Note, I have a better understanding of her purpose.The full-color illustrations are realistic in shape and form, but I wonder about the reality of the difficulties and poverty of the island (which may have not come until the 60's-70's). The cars all look in grand shape. The text tells of the repairs the car needs, yet it looks shiny and new. The endpapers will be a delight to car fans, don't miss them!I can envision several ways to use this book: for those interested in cars of the 50's; for younger readers to enjoy the many sounds of the trip; or as introduction to a study of Cuba.
    more
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Seeing a little bit of how people in Cuba live is part of the delight in this book; another part is to see how inventive they can be in order to keep their family car running. Though I don’t have to do this anymore, I grew up with an uncle who could fix anything, ran a gas station and was a mechanic. He helped out with all of the family’s cars, was known as one who could take a few parts and work magic. In this happy story told by a young boy, his family is on their way to Havana to celebrate t Seeing a little bit of how people in Cuba live is part of the delight in this book; another part is to see how inventive they can be in order to keep their family car running. Though I don’t have to do this anymore, I grew up with an uncle who could fix anything, ran a gas station and was a mechanic. He helped out with all of the family’s cars, was known as one who could take a few parts and work magic. In this happy story told by a young boy, his family is on their way to Havana to celebrate the birth of a new cousin. Before they start, a few things must be fixed in their blue car, named “Cara Cara”, and the boy and his father manage to get the car “clucking” as she should. Margarita Engle's words are poetic, as in this line when the boy talks about their beloved car: “I’m glad that Cara Cara is peacefully blue, like the clear sky above and the wide sea beyond.” The trip shows numerous scenes of Cuban countryside, the city, and all those wonderful cars from fifties America as they travel. Mike Curato traveled to Cuba to see the sights as this boy did in order to illustrate the trip that was taken by the family and fills full-color pages with an old-fashioned feel. I think my family had that Chevy that the family loves, that “Cara Cara”. It’s a wonderful story, this window into Cuba.
    more
  • Debrarian
    January 1, 1970
    Great endpapers of old cars.Great title page: double-page spread looking out an old dash. Apt poetic comparison of a happy old engine clucking like a hen.Monumental-type illustrations of strong, happy looking people of many colors against the warmly glowing backdrop of Cuba's back roads and Havana's streets of lively urban decay. The story itself, a poem paean to old cars and the ingenuity that keeps them running, clunked along a bit for me - seemed like it was trying both to be a sensory hymn t Great endpapers of old cars.Great title page: double-page spread looking out an old dash. Apt poetic comparison of a happy old engine clucking like a hen.Monumental-type illustrations of strong, happy looking people of many colors against the warmly glowing backdrop of Cuba's back roads and Havana's streets of lively urban decay. The story itself, a poem paean to old cars and the ingenuity that keeps them running, clunked along a bit for me - seemed like it was trying both to be a sensory hymn to the old cars and also a slightly plot-driven story of visiting family. The plot part was very thin.For the most part the illustrations brought the words to life, as well as adding wonderful additional details of daily life (barbers and grocers glimpsed through the car window, eg.), but occasionally I wished for the pictures to clarify some text the reader might not get: for example, the referenced torn seats of the cars, or the mention of driving by "forts."Useful and interesting author and illustrator notes about the elderly cars of Cuba.
    more
  • Jana
    January 1, 1970
    This beautifully illustrated picture book tells about a close-knit family in Cuba riding in their antique car to the big city to visit relatives. As the little boy and his parents drive along the road to Havana, the lyrical text describes the gorgeous seaside scenery, the other old, colorful cars on the highway, and all of the noises they hear. This could be a terrific mentor text for helping young writers use sensory details when writing descriptive pieces. An author's note at the end explains This beautifully illustrated picture book tells about a close-knit family in Cuba riding in their antique car to the big city to visit relatives. As the little boy and his parents drive along the road to Havana, the lyrical text describes the gorgeous seaside scenery, the other old, colorful cars on the highway, and all of the noises they hear. This could be a terrific mentor text for helping young writers use sensory details when writing descriptive pieces. An author's note at the end explains why there are so many old cars on the road in Cuba and how families have to be inventive in order to keep these vehicles in working order. There is also an illustrator's note telling readers about the experience of traveling to Cuba and creating the the gorgeous artwork for this book. I love that when you look behind the book's jacket you are treated to the full length of the family car, Cara Cara, from the top looking down on it.
    more
  • Jillian
    January 1, 1970
    The text was fine - full of fun car noises to imitate! - but the illustrations are the real gem in this book. The ancient cars are all lovingly drawn, right down to the cracked windows and steering wheels cannibalized from other vehicles. It gives a really neat look into the ingenuity of the Cuban people, who've had to keep these cars limping along in the face of trade embargoes and economic sanctions.
    more
  • Mackenzie Feeley
    January 1, 1970
    Realistic Fiction. Grades K-3/4. This book could be used to talk about working hard and not giving up, because the characters continue to fix an old car, as is common in Cuba. (It could also be used to discuss Cuba, though the story itself does not focus on Cuba, except that the family is driving into Havana) It may appeal to boys who are interested in cars.
    more
  • Pam Page
    January 1, 1970
    As more Americans are traveling to Cuba for pleasure, this book highlights what many visitors are noticing - the old cars that have been kept running for many years. I think children will find it interesting since a 30 year old car in the U.S. rarely exists!
    more
  • Margaux
    January 1, 1970
    A sweet story about a little boy and his trip to Havana in "Cara Cara," his family's 1954 Chevy. It's always cool to learn about cars and machines in Cuba, and this illustrator's style is just as vibrant as the poetry in the pages.
  • Nikki
    January 1, 1970
    The rhythmic text makes the sounds of Cuba and old cars come alive, this is a book that is meant to be read out loud and would even be a great way to introduce the history of Cuba to older elementary school students.
  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    The illustrations in this work make one feel like they are in Havana, or at least what those of us who have yet to visit believe it looks like. A story about family, it is also a story about cars and working with papa to keep abuelo's car running so one day it may be passed down again.
    more
  • Awjtf
    January 1, 1970
    very beautiful book!
  • Marianne
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely peek into the day in the life of a Cuban family as they travel to see relatives and celebrate the birth of a new baby. My only quibble - I would have loved for there to be a few more Spanish words incorporated into the text.
  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting tie-in to history and current events.
  • Vicki
    January 1, 1970
    I consider this an everybody book - especially for those elementary students learning about other cultures.The illustrations are lovely and very reflective of the culture.
  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    The feel of Havana is captured in the pages of this book, filled with the images of the space, the sounds, and the language. You can almost feel the music coming through the book!
  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    What an amazing partnership with Margarita Engle and Mike Curato. Don't skip the author and illustrator notes at the end.
  • Paula
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful picture book. Great illustrations, great story and we learn a lot of things on the way. Great endpapers too.
  • Alyssa Gudenburr
    January 1, 1970
    A very cool book about taking care of and traveling in an old car in Cuba. Would make a great read for car lovers and I loved all the car sounds. Perfect for elementary children.
  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    Clever story begins with the end pages. We learn a little more about Cuba and the older cars that have stayed in families for generations. Beautiful illustrations support the story.
  • Jo Oehrlein
    January 1, 1970
    A story about fixing an old old car to drive from their Cuban village to Havana for a family party.
  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    Gorgeous text - read the book as a poem and it takes on a whole new lyrical quality. Then go back and drink in the beautiful illustrations by Mike Curato. Stunning.
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    This is really great. I could see this as a Caldecott contender.
  • Ms.Gaye
    January 1, 1970
    Simple text and colorful, lively illustrations introduce readers to the experience of a young boy taking a car ride into Havana where the new baby cousin's zero-year birthday will be celebrated.
  • Tracie
    January 1, 1970
    A young boy describes a family car in Cuba that has been repaired and passed down in the family. Historical notes included.
  • Earl
    January 1, 1970
    Lyrical text and beautiful illustrations- one of my Caldecott contenders for the year, in fact!- will take readers along for the ride as a family drives across Cuba in a car that despite having seen better days has been taken care of over the years to have it do what's it supposed to do. I love when picture books seems to only be one thing but actually has multiple layers written into it.
    more
  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    Go ahead and start stamping this with awards. They are certain to start rolling in anytime. Timely, relevant, beautiful, historical, heartfelt, unique and worthy. What more could you ask for from these two talented individuals?
Write a review