A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text, which would make this a great story for a beginning bilingual classroom. Touches of Mexican folk art in nearly every illustration add a cultural significance.
Abuelita loves being herself even though she "is as old as the
hills," her "face is as crinkled as a dried chile," and she is
"round ... like a calabaza." She definitely is special, and so is her grandson. Theirs is a very colorful, joyful world of love and admiration, and her job as a storyteller is one of the best jobs ever. Imagination, as well as routine and ritual, are celebrated.
Positive Role Models
The little boy loves and admires his abuelita, and she feels the same toward him. She takes care of him, and, in a way, he takes care of her. Together, with Frida Kahlo the cat, they make a happy, loving family.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book is sprinkled with Spanish words, vibrant award-winning art, and a great message about grandmas and storytelling.
Is It Any Good?
This is a book readers will want to share over and over. If the mystery, story, and message aren't enough to keep kids intrigued, the artwork is. Every page is a feast for the eyes, full of color, detail, and something unusual. The background of each page is a vivid red, blue, purple, or some other bright, energetic color. Every one is different and exciting. Abuelita's outfits are fanciful, whether she is
wrapped in a yellow and black striped towel, a pink fuzzy robe or a
flowery gown with bright red shoes and a "scarf like a cloud" that
flows to the ground.
Other amazing details highlighted with the flowers and patterns of Mexican folk art, and the friendly clay figures with their shining eyes and pudgy cheeks, create such a rich, friendly, warm tone that makes this book feel more like a friend than simply a story.
The artwork in this book is unique, and as playful as the story. Using clay, wire, felting wool, fabric, metals, Mexican crafts, and acrylic paints, the artist creates a warm and wonderful world full of color, excitement, and happiness. It's easy to see why it won the Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.