Grandparents: Hispanic Heritage

These books celebrate the special bond that children have with their grandparents (or abuelos), no matter where they live, what language they speak, or what they do together.

A Day's Work

Illustrated by: Ronald Himler
Age Level: 6-9

When Francisco's grandfather arrives from Mexico speaking no English and in search of a job, Francisco becomes his translator. In his desire to help Abuelo find work quickly, Francisco lies about what his grandfather knows how to do, creating trouble for both of them. In the end, Francisco learns an important lesson in this poignant story about immigrant families and day laborers.

A Perfect Season for Dreaming

"Summer arrived gently, carrying a blue and cloudless sky, making it a perfect season for dreaming." So begins the story of Octavio Rivera's strange dreams of falling guitars and turtles that he shares only with his granddaughter. The compelling paintings of Esau Andrade Valencia, said to follow in Diego Rivera's footsteps, capture the fantastic nature of the dreams. Bilingual text.

Abuela

Illustrated by: Ms. Elisa Kleven

Rosalba imagines flying over New York City with her much loved abuela. The young girl uses a lovely mix of English and Spanish to describe their journey, moving from the busy streets of Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty. Brightly colored illustrations detail what Rosalba and her grandmother glimpse as they fly, and the rich tales of Abuela's memories. (Available in both English and Spanish).

Abuela's Weave

Esperanza is nervous as she and her grandmother weave tapestries with intricate designs to sell in the market. Will the people in the market still want to buy something handmade? Will they be scared by grandmother's birthmark? On market day, Esperanza feels alone, but soon realizes she has nothing to worry about after all. Gentle acrylic illustrations capture the Guatemalan countryside and busy market, as well as the beautiful fabrics central to the story. Spanish version available.

Abuelita Full of Life

Illustrated by: Martha Aviles
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Jose is not sure what to expect when his grandmother from Mexico moves in…except that he will certainly have to change his ways. What he discovers is that he doesn't mind one bit. Abuelita is full of surprises — and full of life!

Braids

Meet Abuela and Isabela, who tell each other stories while Abuela braids and unbraids Isabela's hair every day. When Isabela discovers Abuela can't read, she finds a wonderful way to help her grandmother. Lovely illustrations bring Isabela and Abuela to life in this heartwarming book about the importance of passing down traditions across generations.

Butterflies on Carmen Street

Illustrated by: April Ward

Julianita is excited to receive her very own caterpillar to raise at school! Yet when her caterpillar, Tiger, finally emerges from his chrysalis, Julianita doesn't want to let him go. She worries that he will get lost on his way to Mexico. "Tiger knows the way to Mexico because it's in his heart," her Abuelito reassures her. She feels sad to see Tiger fly away, but Julianita knows that someday, she will follow him to back to her grandfather's beloved homeland.

Carolina's Gift: A Story of Peru

Illustrated by: Gredna Landolt
Age Level: 3-6

Product Description: Carolina lives in a village up in the Andes mountains. Today she and her mother are traveling into town to find a birthday gift for Carolina's grandmother. There are so many things to see and so many gifts to choose from! Carolina's Gift gives readers a fun and unique insight into what life might be like for a child growing up in mountain village of Peru.

Chavela and the Magic Bubble

Illustrated by: Magaly Morales
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Chavela loves chomping chicle — chewing gum and blowing bubbles. One day, while out with her abuelita, she finds a mysterious kind of gum she has never seen before. She pops it in her mouth and blows a giant bubble that lifts her up into the air and carries her on a magical journey. Luscious, candy-colored paintings illustrate this fantastical story with an ecological twist. An afterword provides information on natural chewing gum, the rainforest, and sustainable farming, as well as music to a traditional Latin American folksong.

Grandma's Gift

Age Level: 6-9

It's Christmastime, and Eric has a special assignment — he has to write a report about a new painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eric's grandmother makes a deal with him: if he will help her make traditional Puerto Rican pasteles, she will take him to the museum. Together they leave the familiar neighborhoods of Spanish Harlem and venture out to the Met, where Eric encounters a painting that changes his life. A note from author and illustrator Eric Velasquez provides some background to this quiet yet profound story from his childhood.

Grandma's Records

Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Every summer, Eric goes to live with his grandmother in El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) while his parents work. Through the long hot days, Grandma fills her apartment with the blaring horns and conga drums of Bomba y Plena, salsa, and merengüe — the music she grew up with in Puerto Rico — sharing her memories and passions with Eric. Join Eric Velasquez on a magical journey through time and across cultures, as a young boy's passion for music and art is forged by a powerful bond between generations.

I Love Saturdays y domingos

A girl visits both sets of grandparents on weekends. On Saturdays, she speaks English with Grandpa and Grandma, while on Sundays, los domingos, she speaks Spanish with Abeulito and Abeulita. The format provides a glimpse at the subtle differences between cultures and highlights their similarities, one of which is each set of grandparents' love for their granddaughter. Spanish words are interspersed in the fluid text.

Isla

Illustrated by: Ms. Elisa Kleven
Age Level: 3-6

Product Description: Rosalba is going on an imaginary journey to the Caribbean island where her grandmother grew up. Through her abuela's eyes, Rosalba visits with relatives who still live on la isla and sees the beautiful terrain of the island, from the lush, tropical rain forest to the bustling old city. Along the way Rosalba and her grandmother visit a busy fruit market, then cool off with a swim in the turquoise sea filled with colorful fish. Their magical trip is brought to life by Elisa Kleven's shimmering collage artwork.

Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale & Counting Book

Age Level: 3-6

What's an old woman to do when a skeleton comes to visit? Keep him waiting, of course, while busy doing things from 1 to 10, culminating in a festive birthday celebration. Lively language and illustrations make this original tale memorable.

Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book

Age Level: 6-9

Señor Calvera is back! This time, he is looking forward to Grandma Beetle's birthday party — but he can't figure out what gift to give her. He consults with Zelmiro the Ghost and chooses one gift for every letter of the alphabet: acordéon, bigotes, cosquillas (accordian, moustaches, and tickles). It isn't until he reaches the letter Z, however, that Señor Calvera finds the best gift of all for Grandma Beetle.

Love, Amalia

By: Pat Mora
Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: Amalia's best friend Martha is moving away, and Amalia is feeling sad and angry. And yet, even when life seems unfair, the loving, wise words of Amalia's abuelita have a way of making everything a little bit brighter. But when another loss racks Amalia's life, nothing makes sense anymore. In her sorrow, will Amalia realize just how special she is, even when the ones she loves are no longer near?

Mango, Abuela, and Me

Mia's abuela has left her sunny house with parrots and palm trees to live with Mia and her parents in the city. The night she arrives, Mia tries to share her favorite book with Abuela before they go to sleep and discovers that Abuela can't read the words inside. So while they cook, Mia helps Abuela learn English ("Dough. Masa"), and Mia learns some Spanish too, but it’s still hard for Abuela to learn the words she needs to tell Mia all her stories.

My Abuelita

Illustrated by: Yuyi Morales
Age Level: 3-6

"Abuelita's hair is the color of salt. Her face is as crinkled as a dried chile. She booms out words as wild as blossoms blooming. She stuffs her carcacha — her jalopy — with all the things she needs: a plumed snake, a castle, a skeleton, and more. Her grandson knows he has the most amazing grandmother ever — with a very important job. What does Abuelita do? Readers will enjoying guessing in this story sprinkled with Spanish and infused with love." — Amazon Review

My Grandma

It is time to visit Grandma! First a taxi, then an airplane, one more bus — and there she is! This book for young readers uses very simple bilingual text to follow the journey from home to Grandma's front yard, telling the story with colorful illustrations. Children will enjoy poring over the detailed artwork, and readers will feel a glow when everyone is finally juntos — together.

My Tata's Guitar

When a little boy explores his grandfather's garage, he finds a treasure — his grandfather's old guitar. He learns that the guitar has provided the music for Christmas posadas, love songs, and campfires. Nothing is more exciting for the boy, however, than the moment that his grandfather offers to teach him how to play his guitar. The story and illustrations offer a lovely tribute to Latino families and traditions. Bilingual text.

My Tata's Remedies

Illustrated by: Antonio Castro L.
Age Level: 6-9

Aaron, who lives in the American Southwest, has asked his grandfather Tata to teach him about the healing remedies he uses. Tata is a neighbor and family elder. People come to him all the time for his soothing solutions and for his compassionate touch and gentle wisdom. Tata knows how to use herbs, teas, and plants to help each one. His wife, Grandmother Nana, is there too, bringing delicious food and humor to help Tata's patients heal. An herbal remedies glossary at the end of the book includes useful information about each plant, plus botanically correct drawings.

Nana's Big Surprise

Nana has come to visit, but she is still sad after the death of her beloved husband. What can be done to make her feel better? Amada Irma Pérez's story is based on her memories of the unforgettable time when her grandmother came to stay with her family after her grandfather's death. Maya Christina Gonzalez's vibrant illustrations combine acrylic paintings, photos, fabrics, beads, and paper into textured collages. Bilingual text.

Pablo's Tree

By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Cecily Lang
Age Level: 3-6

Pablo can't wait to visit his abeulito for his birthday. His grandfather decorates Pablo's special tree, planted when he was adopted. Pablo's special tree and its surprises are presented in rich illustrations and gentle text.

Playing Lotería

Illustrated by: Jill Arena
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Together a little boy and his grandma discover a world of language through la lotería, a Mexican game similar to Bingo, and realize that loved ones have special ways of understanding each other.

Saturday Sancocho

Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Every Saturday, Maria Lili looks forward to making chicken sancocho with her grandparents. But one Saturday they discover that there is nothing in the house except eggs. Mama Ana has a plan, though, and taking the eggs with her, she invites Maria Lili to come to the market. Bold, cheerful watercolors evoke the busy atmosphere of the village markets of Central and South America. Reading Rainbow Book.

Sweet Dreams (My Family/Mi Familia series)

It's bedtime, and Grandma has come to tuck everyone in. One by one, she kisses her grandchildren good-night in a loving refrain that reminds them of all the other friends who are closing their eyes and falling asleep. The soothing text and gentle drawings make this the perfect way to end a busy day. Bilingual text.

Tortilla Sun

Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: When twelve-year-old Izzy discovers a beat-up baseball marked with the words "Becausemagic" while unpacking in yet another new apartment, she is determined to figure out what it means. What secrets does this old ball have to tell? Her mom certainly isn't sharing anyespecially when it comes to Izzy's father, who died before Izzy was born. But when she spends the summer in her Nana's remote New Mexico village, Izzy discovers long-buried secrets that come alive in an enchanted landscape of watermelon mountains, whispering winds, and tortilla suns.

Tortillas and Lullabies

A young girl tells how her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother perform an everyday activity, whether gathering flowers or making tortillas, and how every time it was the same but different. The vivid illustrations evoke Central American folk art and complement the graceful text presented in Spanish and English.

What Can You Do With a Rebozo?

Illustrated by: Amy Cordova
Age Level: 3-6

Product Description: In a playful celebration of a vibrant culture, a young girl and her family show all the things they do in their daily lives with a rebozo, a traditional Mexican woven shawl. Lively prose and rich illustrations honor a warm and colorful cultural icon.