Cover image for The best family in the world
The best family in the world
Uniform Title:
Mejor familia del mundo. English
1st American ed.
Publication Information:
Tusla, OK : Kane Miller, 2010, c2008.
Physical Description:
[24] p. : col. ill. ; 31 cm.
General Note:
"First published in Spain in 2008 by Edicitones SM under the title "La mejor familia del mundo"--T.p. verso.
Reading Level:
AD 610 L Lexile
Added Author:
Carlota is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the family who is adopting her. She imagines that they might be astronauts, pastry chiefs or even pirates. And then Carlota finds out that the Lopez family is the best family in the world.


Material Type
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Book EASY LOP 0 1

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Carlotta anxiously awaits the arrival of her new family. What will they be like? She imagines all kinds of wonderful families ... astronauts, pastry chefs, even pirates. How nice to find out that they are ... the best family in the world.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Carlota, an orphan who looks to be about five or six, dreams of being adopted by "the best family in the world." Her fantasies are wistful, even outlandish, but believable for a child this age. She longs to "live in a pastry shop," or with a family of pirates, or circus performers, or even astronauts. Soon, she meets her adoptive family, a sweet, but rather typical-looking group. Here Lopez and Wensell display their flair for conveying the essence of how a child's mind can work. Although Carlota's adoptive father is an insurance agent, not a pirate, "he loves digging for buried treasure in the vacant lot next door." Her mother, not a baker but a postal worker, sometimes brings her "a pastry for an afternoon snack." Carlota is pictured sprawling on a coach, her head on her mother's lap, munching on a treat. Her brother is a stand-in for astronauts when he decorates her ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stars. The illustrations feature vibrant color and capture Carlota's whimsical musings as well as her eventual joyful embrace of her new, loving relatives. Unlike numerous adoption stories that focus attention on the adoptive family's anticipation, this one explores the inner life of a child waiting to be adopted. The ending shows a very contented Carlota whose dreams have come true in a circuitous, but oh-so-satisfying, way.-Deborah Vose, East Middle School and South Middle School, Braintree, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this Spanish import, when the director of an orphanage tells Carlota that a family is coming to adopt her tomorrow, she spends the night in a fever of anticipation. Maybe they'll be a family of pastry chefs! Or pirates! Or tiger trainers! ("She'd live at the circus!... She'd take a Bengal tiger to school, and she'd be the most popular girl at recess"). Wensell's (Paul and Sebastian) Carlota imagines many scenarios; her circus parents putting the tigers through their paces, her pirate parents looking on fondly while she uncovers buried treasure, her astronaut parents holding her hands as she floats through space. Her real new family turns out to be quite ordinary, but they clearly adore her and have all the exoticism she needs: "Roberto, Carlota's new father.... isn't a pirate, but he loves digging for buried treasure in the vacant lot next door." Lopez handles Carlota's situation with delicacy, and Wensell's friendly faces reassure readers that Carlota is in good hands. It's a useful adoption story and a reminder that sometimes what we end up with is what we actually wanted all along. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Contrary to her fantasies, orphan Carlota's terrific new parents don't turn out to be pastry chefs, pirates, etc., but they do bring her yummy pastries and pretend to dig for buried treasure. The light-handedness of the storytelling belies the book's depth, and the domestic scenes of Carlota and her new family are as wondrous as the scenes she imagined. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

A shy orphan's dreams of adoption come true. Little Carlota is called into the office of the orphanage director, who happily informs her that she's soon to be placed with a family. Too excited to sleep, Carlota imagines all kinds of new parentspirates, astronauts, pastry chefs and tiger trainers. Her real new family isn't quite that exotic, but each has qualities of her fantasy families: Her mother often brings pastry home, father digs for buried treasure in a vacant lot next door, grandma has playful striped cats and new brother Pedro decorates her bedroom with stars and hanging planets. She knows she has the best family in the world. The warmth of Wensell's illustrations matches the gentle narrative, a modern fairy tale. This Spanish import does not seek to explain anything about the adoption process, thus rendering it nicely universal. It distinguishes itself further from other books on the topic by posing a preschool-age child as its protagonist, rather than a child adopted as an infant. Neatly pitched for its target audience. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

After the director of the orphanage tells Carlota that she will meet her new family the next day, she goes to bed hoping for the best, but what would be the best family in the world ? A family of pastry chefs? Treats galore! Pirates? Treasure hunts! A family of tiger trainers would be fun, but with a family of astronauts, she could fall asleep each night counting the stars. When she meets her new mother, father, brother, and grandmother, each fulfills one of her hopes in an unexpected way. Originally published in Spain, this large-format picture book tells the story of a little girl who meets uncertainty with imagination and remains open to the possibility of good things to come. The telling is clear and lively, while the artwork glows with warmth and light. Showing different scenes from different angles, the handsome illustrations have a certain elegance of composition, combined with undeniable child appeal in characterization. A lovely, thought-provoking picture book to share and discuss.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist