Chronicle Books


Yenebi's Drive to School

Sendy Santamaria
Dreamers meets School's First Day of School in this vibrant story that puts a whole new spin on one loving family's morning drive to school.Every morning, I'm up at four o'clock.
Full Description
Dreamers meets School's First Day of School in this vibrant story that puts a whole new spin on one loving family's morning drive to school.

Every morning, I'm up at four o'clock.

I brush my teeth, get dressed, and drag my sister Melanie to the car where Mami's waiting for us.

Se nos va hacer tarde! Apurarse!

For the next two hours, we'll be in the car driving-past tamale vendors (my favorite part), through la linea (my least favorite part), and across the US border. That's how we get to school every day. This is our normal. Vamos!

In a winning, sunny voice in a bright, friendly palette, debut author-illustrator Sendy Santamaria tells the story of one girl's commute, a commute Sendy herself made growing up as an American citizen living in Mexico. Yenebi's Drive to School takes readers on a trip to school that many will recognize as very similar to their own.
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 40
Size: 8 x 10 V
Age Range: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: 06/27/2023
ISBN: 9781797216294
Sendy Santamaria is an illustrator from San Diego currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She grew up along both sides of the border between San Diego and Tijuana and spent a lot of time daydreaming on the San Diego Blue Line trolley. She received her BFA in Illustration from California College of the Arts. She enjoys storytelling with multiple mediums. Her work celebrates everyday narratives and Chicanx culture. She is inspired by migration, perseverance, pigeons, and love. 

“Not all school drop offs are a short bus ride away! In this wonderful book by muralist Sendy Sanatamaria, the sights and sounds of a frontera town occupy our imaginations as a family goes through their morning commute on the way to school from Mexico to the U.S.A.” 

–Raúl the Third, Pura Belpré Award–winning illustrator of the World of ¡Vamos! and Lowriders series


★ “A going-to-school story elevated by a mother’s devotion and a child’s dedication.” — Kirkus, starred review  

★[A] memorable debut…the family’s bilingual conversations render a close-knit family’s everyday trip in this warm slice-of-life tale.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review  

“Santamaria's bright, colorful artwork nicely captures the bustling commerce of the border region in eye-catching scenes that celebrate culture and tradition. The intermingled use of English and Spanish in the text perfectly befits a story set on the border.” — Booklist 

“A border story not often depicted [and] a strong choice for picture book shelves.” — School Library Journal


“Seamlessly weaves Spanish phrases and dialogue into… crisp text, and [the] art is an explosion of vibrant color, adding to the book’s multisensory celebration. Yenebi’s Drive to School demonstrates excellently that there are many ways to get to school and that the lessons and rewards of education are worth striving for.” — BookPage, Starred Review