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My Abuelita

by Tony Johnston
Illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Photographed by Tim O'Meara

Published by Harcourt / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-15-216330-3

Ages 4 - 7

Podcast featuring this book

A vibrant picture book describes a boy’s morning with his abuelita, with whom he lives. “After she stretches, my abuelita takes a shower.” Abuelita is round like a calabaza (pumpkin), with a face “crinkled as a dried chile” and hair the color of salt. There are many allusions to Abuelita’s work, which remains a mystery until the final page, as they get ready for the day. Eating “starry eggs” for breakfast, his abuelita yodels to loosen up her voice. On the way out the door, she “booms out words, loud and clear. She always says the words should be round as dimes and as wild as blossoms blooming.” Tony Johnston’s narrative is full of fresh turns of phrase and vivid, surprising descriptions as she details this warm, playful, loving relationship. Yuyi Morales’s distinctive, richly hued illustrations are photographs of the three-dimensional tableaus she created that incorporate Mexican crafts and cultural details. CCBC categories: Picture Books for School-Age Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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