“Abuela” by Arthur Dorros; illustrated by Elisa Kleven is a Great Picture Book for Hispanic Heritage Month
Grandmas are sometimes a bit more adventuresome than moms and dads. They may have the time and experience to seek out the familiar, see them in a new light, and combine it for a great time for grandchildren.
Arthur Dorros” picture book, “Abuela” or grandma in Spanish, has managed to do just that.
Abuela or Rosalba takes her granddaughter on what seems like an ordinary foray into the every day. Prompted by the urgings of abuela, the young girl gets to see the everyday through fresh eyes; those of her grandma.
And pretending and imagination is a fun part of the mix.
Funny how two people can look at the very same thing and one can see dreary sameness and the other can see possibilities.
Example: When we bought a piece of property for a vineyard/orchard/farm some ten years ago, there were 17 acres of grape vines and the rest of the 44 acres were chest high weeds!
I saw the weeds. My husband saw our Chapter Two; an additional 7 acres of vines we could plant, 3,000 apple trees of 8 varieties, fields of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries, veggies grown from non-GMO seeds and a barn – all resulting in a farm stand.
His vision and “What If” thinking was the one realized over a 4 year period and it’s the Chapter Two we live today.
So too, Rosalba wonders, “What if I could fly,?” and so ensues a marvelous adventure of two generations, with Rosalba setting the pace and pulse of their journey.
Narrated in English, it has a liberal amount of Spanish phrases tossed into the mix and a conveniently handy Glossary of Spanish/English phrases that are placed in the back of the story for handy reference for young readers.
Here’s just one great review of this positive picture book that I chose for Spanish Heritage Month:
“A marvelous balancing of narrative simplicity with visual intricacy. Spread out beneath the adventures, the city is transformed into a treasure trove of jewels, dazzling the eyes and uplifting the spirit.”
“The Horn Book”
I love inter-generational picture books because these are the generational shoulders, not only we, but our children, can glean so much from in terms of patience to see beyond what is there and the experience to realize that life is lived one glorious moment at a time.
Rosalba and her granddaughter, along with your young reader, are free to enjoy their ride!
And perhaps, the seeds can be planted for a similar foray with YOUR grandchildren or a small child that needs an adventure from the everyday.
Great oaks from little acorns grow. So dream and grow with Rosalba and granddaughter.
I hope you’ll read my middle grade book, THE WIND CALLED MY NAME, published by Tu Books (Lee & Low). It’s intergenerational and perfect for Hispanic Heritage Month (and more). My editor said it was an Hispanic Little House on the Prairie story.
Since you and I obviously love Tomie dePaola, I hope you’ll highlight his books that feature Hispanic culture during Hispanic Heritage Month.