Is this jug really magical? In Mexican American comedian Jesús Trejo’s debut picture book, little Jesús makes a big, funny mistake as he works alongside his landscaper papá, but father and son find a heartwarming solution.
Little Jesús is excited to spend a Saturday with his landscaper Papá at the “family business.” He loves Papá’s cool truck and all the tools he gets to use. Papá even puts him in charge of the magical water jug, which is also a clock! When it's empty, Papá explains, the workday will be done. It’s a big job, and Jesús wants to do it right. But he just can’t help giving water to an array of thirsty animals—a dog in a sweater, some very old cats, and a flock of peacocks. Before he knows it, the magical water jug is empty —but the workday’s not over yet! Will Jesús be fired?! Or is the jug not really magical after all? This mischievous tale of a very young comedian’s life lesson will warm hearts and have class clowns, practical jokers, and all high-spirited kids nodding in sympathy.
This vividly written picture book debut from comedian and actor Trejo offers a rare look at a day on the job from a child's perspective. Jesús loves everything about helping his father with the Latinx-cued family's landscaping business on Saturdays. Wearing a jaunty red neck bandana, Jesús takes in "a tasty mixed smell of oil, gasoline, and yesterday's cut grass" that emanates from the work van. Today, Papá has made Jesús the "boss" of the big orange water jug, which is also, Papá says, a magical clock—"When the jug is empty, that means, time to go home." But though Mamá reminds the duo to "drink lots of agua," Jesús is elaborately unstinting with the water, splashing it on his face and offering it to every animal he sees. By 10:30 a.m., none remains for drinking, and there are still 11 houses to go. Assuring a worried Jesús that he won't be fired, Papá explains that making things fun—for example by pretending a water jug has magical powers—doesn't obviate the day's responsibilities, then offers an opportunity to refill the bucket. Exuberantly scribbled pencil, ink, watercolor, gouache, and crayon drawings by Kinkz (Goldie's Guide to Grandchilding) give the animated prose an exuberant immediacy and plenty of heart. Ages 4–8.