The Streets are Free (Kurusa)

In the barrios of Caracas in San Jose, Carlitos, Cheo and Camila have to play in the busy streets down below the mountain.

One day while playing in the road, a large truck drives by, and they have to stop to let it pass. They realize it just doesn't work when that's the only way they can play, so they leave.

Sitting on the steps of their local library with their friends, not knowing what to do, the children begin discussing with the librarian how great it would be to have a playground where they could go after school to play hopscotch and baseball and swing and imagine.

They write a list of things they need for a playground, and make a banner to bring to City Hall. The mayor agrees and gives them an empty lot - but nobody in the town turns it into a park! The children look at it everyday, wondering when they will be able to play there.

That's when they take matters into their own hands.

This heartwarming book based on a true story shows the power you have, even as a child, and you really can do something when you try your best. The book also includes bright illustrations by Monika Doppert, which really capture the colors of Venezuela. The writing is very simple, with not a lot of words on each page. I recommend it for ages 4-9.

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