A piercing look at the psychology of the main characters, especially insightful into the mind of a Canadian pre-teen abducted by her mother. Inventive plot, language and structure make La Chiripa enjoyable on many levels. Sparkling dialogue and all-too-human vignettes bring together Japanese tourists, the peoples of Guatemala and, best of all, the sparky character of precocious Pira, on the run with her kooky mother from her estranged—and strange—father. A feat!