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ABUELA'S WEAVE by Omar S. Castañeda


by Omar S. Castañeda & illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: March 15th, 1993
ISBN: 1-880000-00-8
Publisher: Lee & Low

 A new publisher with a multicultural mission makes an excellent first showing (also see Mochizuki, below) with this picture-book debut by the author of Among the Volcanoes (1991)-- in which Castañeda returns to his native Guatemala for a story about Esperanza and her grandmother selling their traditional woven articles. Abuela has a facial birthmark that has provoked a superstitious fear in those buying her lovely things (``some kids...had started a rumor that she was a witch''), so the two pretend not to know each other; Esperanza goes ahead and succeeds in coping with the busy city marketplace and finding buyers before Abuela (readers can spot her standing discreetly in the background of each picture) joins her. The story may be a little slight, but the relationship is warm and the many authentic details are vividly described. Sanchez, who grew up in the Dominican Republic, makes an outstanding debut with glowing acrylic paintings, effectively framed in red rule and incorporating fabric designs and Mayan motifs--a whimsical patterning in a tree, Esperanza's graceful profile. Handsome, appealing, and sure to be useful. (Picture book. 4-10)