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MY ABUELITA by Tony Johnston


by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Yuyi Morales and photographed by Tim O'Meara

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-15-216330-3
Publisher: Harcourt

A Mexican-flavored story of a small child who lives with a lovely and extravagant grandmother. He calls her “Abuelita,” the affectionate word that Spanish-speaking children and children of Hispanic origin use to name their grandmas. The attentive child expresses a genuine admiration for his Abuelita’s job, describing her daily rituals to get ready to work: The child and Abuelita’s cat (Frida Kahlo) follow her while she takes a shower, prepares breakfast, exercises her voice and dons (after a reminder) a special gown. Then, after besitos for Frida Kahlo, they leave in an old car, a “carcacha,” full of the unusual objects she needs to perform her work: a sun, a moon, a skeleton, a king and a queen. The digital photographs of Morales’s unique polymer-clay sculptures, surrounded by elements and colors distinctive of traditional Mexican crafts, create a surrealistic atmosphere that transforms the locations where this story take place—a humble home and a school—into fantastic places. Children and adults, especially those who love listening and telling stories, will be thrilled to discover Abuelita’s enchanting profession. (Picture book. 3-7)