MaiStoryBook Library: Carmela Full of Wishes + *Paper Birthday Bracelets* Craft

Introducing a newly-released, heart-warming read aloud by the award-winning duo ~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Carmela Full of Wishes” by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson

*~Click here to purchase your own copy of *Carmela Full of Wishes* to start on your own reading adventure! (This is an affiliate link~ 5% of your purchase will go to MaiStoryBook to help create Reading Resources for your littles)~*

Book Synopsis and Review

It is Carmela’s birthday! And everyone knows on your birthday~ you get a special *birthday wish.* But for Carmela, her special wish has already come true! Today is the day she is finally old enough to join her brother for excursions into town. With a *jingle-jangle* of her birthday bracelets, Carmela  trails behind her brother, soaking in the colorful community around her~ from the blossoming blooms at the flower market to the sweet treats at the panaderia, from the swirling whirl of the laundromat machines to the rainbow of vegetables perched on market stands. Her birthday is already the best she could ever imagine to be. So when she stumbles upon a dandelion, and learns of its wish-granting powers, she wonders  what more she could possibly we want. As she contemplates the possibilities and searches for the perfect wish, we join her as she continues her journey through town and get a glimpse into her family and the vibrant community she belongs to.

Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson return as a powerful duo to bring us this new children’s book  resonating with themes of family, gratitude, community, and the bond between siblings. Matt de la Pena weaves a story of finding hope and believing in dreams ~ all through the eyes of a little girl on a simple outing through her neighborhood. Christian Robinson’s crafted illustrations bring Carmela to life, with her strong and stubborn stance and her feelings of delight at the world around her. Its a sweet, but simple story, abundant with feelings of love.


  • bodega (p. 17) a small grocery store
  • thrummed (p. 20) made a musical sound
  • scurrying (p. 21) moving with really small footsteps
  • abandoned  (p. 26) empty or left behind
  • spores (p. 29) tiny little flowers  that flutter off from the dandelion

Themes/ Main Ideas

  • Family takes care of you when you need them most
  • Always keep wishing and dreaming~ there’s bravery in dreaming and wishes keep hope alive.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Carmela Full of Wishes” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

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*Paper Bracelet* Craft

Dandelions~ those wondrous flowers that look like puff balls of fairy dust, delicate white spores tipped with white lace~ ready to take flight at the slightest whisper of a breath. I can remember strolls through neighborhood and days at the park~ eyes sweeping back and forth along the grassy mounds, scanning the fields of green for those bobbing white circles, eagerly searching for *mai* next wish. The perfectly round ones were the best of course~ that meant your wish was more likely to come true~when every spore was in tact that meant all the more power and hope cast into the air to help your wish come true. The simple pleasures and power of dreams and hope that a small white flower can bring is magic all in itself. For Carmela, armed with her birthday bracelets, birthday magic, and a perfect dandelion in her grasp, she has all the necessities for a truly magical birthday. This afternoon, take your own stroll through the neighborhood on a dandelion search~ but before you go, check out MaiStoryBook’s craft to make your own Paper Birthday Bracelets~ to *jingle and jangle* along with you as you search for the little blossom of magic sprouting between the sidewalk cracks.


(for 1 bracelet)

  • double sided square piece of paper (6″ x 6″) – different colors on both sides
    • or 2 pieces of 6″ x 6″ paper taped together to make 1 double sided piece
  • tape


  • Fold the square paper in half to make a triangle – do not fold edge to edge *LEAVE a small edge of color so you can see both colors* – see example photo.

  • Flip the triangle over so you only see the side with 1 color.
  • Then, starting at the bottom base of the triangle, fold up the edge about 1.5 cm. You should see two stripes of the opposite color on the ends.

  • Continue folding the edge up, 1.5 cm at a time.
  • Fold until you reach the end tip. Use the tape to tape the end down so it doesn’t unravel.

  • Fold the edges to make a bracelet. The ends can tuck into each other, but use tape to connect them and keep it from separating apart.
  • Slide the bracelet onto your wrist.
  • Repeat to make even more bracelets!

Enjoy your *Paper Birthday Bracelets*

  • Wear your bracelets out on your own community walk through the neighborhood and search for dandelions.
  • Wear the bracelets to remind you of chasing dreams and the power of hope.
  • Wear the bracelets and use them to help you retell the story to a family or friend.

*~Overall, have fun creating, sharing, and wearing  your  *Paper Birthday Bracelets* Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones have a happy holiday!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary, Twitter @MaiStoryBook  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Paper Birthday Bracelets* Crafts, and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*