“Abuela”by Arthur Dorros


 

As the title indicates, we are not done talking and reading about grandmas. For a lot can be said and written about grandmas, indeed. Just look at the very number of ways we can name them. Grandma, Grannie, Baba, Babcia (my grandmother), or Abuela, as Arthur Dorros chose to call her.

 

Abuela came from Mexico, speaks Spanish and… has a very wild imagination. She takes her granddaughter for a bus ride around the NYC. They go to the park, where, inspired by birds, they wonder what it would be like to fly like a ‘pajaro’. They would soar over the streets, wave to the people on bus stops and say ‘Buenos dias’, glide close to the sea… They would see the Statue of Liberty, which would bring Abuela back to the day, when she came to this country. Suddenly Abuela and the girl are back in the park, ready for another, more real adventure: a boat ride.

 

 

Isn’t Abuela representative of so many grandmas who came to this country as immigrants and started a new life here? It wasn’t always easy for them to cherish their traditions and keep ties to their roots. But thanks those grandmas from Mexico, Italy, Ireland, China and other countries, who managed to do so,  this country is so unique and so… colorful? As colorful as the pictures by Elisa Kleven. So vivid, and folkloric, like patches of the quilt. A great background for this poetic story.

But the book is more than a lyrical tale about foreign roots and different cultures. It is also about two languages. Written in English and Spanish, this book is a clever and most appealing way to learn Abuela’s language.

 

 

 

 

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