Awards & Honors
Bank Street College Best Books, 2002
Vermont Center for the Book, Beyond Differences Top Ten Diversity Books 2002
California Readers “California Collection” 2005, 2006
Written by Alexis O'Neill
Illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez
It's early Sunday morning at the Swap Meet, and Estela is excited. Today she hopes to sell something--a music box--for the first time, and then use the money for dance lessons. Watching her father she learns how to bargain, but she can't find a buyer for her own item. Another vendor admires the music box, just as Estela admires the dancing skirt that the vendor is sewing. There's no exchange of money; instead, Estela and the vendor trade the box and skirt as gifts.
This is a warm, nicely paced story about sharing and bartering that's filled with sensory descriptions of the vibrant open market. The textured acrylics capture the hum and bustle of the stalls, but the colorful scenery doesn't overwhelm the story; Sanchez paints the characters in sharp focus, so that they pop out against the blurred, evocative background scenes. A good starting point for classroom discussion across the curriculum.
O’Neill subtly weaves details of trades and bargaining into the fabric of her story to give readers a tangible taste of swaps or flea markets. Sanchez uses richly colored, bright acrylics to render the energy and bustle of a Swap Meet in his full-bleed illustrations The text is skillfully incorporated into the illustrations and the focus on each spread remains firmly on the plucky heroine. All in all, a wonderful bargain.
— School Library Journal
This well-crafted tale featuring a Mexican-American father and children will be wonderful for reading aloud to individuals or to groups.
— Kirkus Reviews
Click below for pdfs for Estela's Swap
Estela's Swap Q & A
Estela's Swap Teacher Idea Sheet
Estela's Swap - Lee & Low Teachers' Guide
Estela's Swap Activity - Song "Cielito Lindo"
Estela's Swap: Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature
Estela en el Mercado de Pulgas
(Spanish version of Estela’s Swap)
Translated by Eida de La Vega
Paperback Spanish—Lee & Low Books
Estela's Swap Book Trailer