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Abuela (English Edition with Spanish Phrases) Hardcover – September 12, 1991


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 510L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; First Edition edition (September 12, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525447504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525447504
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this tasty trip, Rosalba is "always going places" with her grandmother--abuela . During one of their bird-feeding outings to the park, Rosalba wonders aloud, "What if I could fly?" Thus begins an excursion through the girl's imagination as she soars high above the tall buildings and buses of Manhattan, over the docks and around the Statue of Liberty with Abuela in tow. Each stop of the glorious journey evokes a vivid memory for Rosalba's grandmother and reveals a new glimpse of the woman's colorful ethnic origins. Dorros's text seamlessly weaves Spanish words and phrases into the English narrative, retaining a dramatic quality rarely found in bilingual picture books. Rosalba's language is simple and melodic, suggesting the graceful images of flight found on each page. Kleven's ( Ernst ) mixed-media collages are vibrantly hued and intricately detailed, the various blended textures reminiscent of folk art forms. Those searching for solid multicultural material would be well advised to embark: Vamos ! Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-- An innovative fantasy narrated by a Hispanic-American child who imagines she's rising into the air over the park and flying away with her loving, rosy-cheeked abuela (grandmother). From the air, they see Manhattan streets, docks, an airport, tourist attractions, and Rosalba's father's office. The simple text could be enjoyed as a read-aloud or as a read-alone for newly independent readers. What makes the book so interesting is Dorros's integration of Spanish words and phrases via Abuela's dialogue within the English text. While some phrases are translated by the child, others will be understood in context. As insurance, a glossary, which provides definitions and pronunciations, is appended. The illustrations sing out a celebration of the love and joy that underlies the brief, straightforward narrative. Combining vibrant watercolor and pastel images with interesting snippets of collage in an exuberant folk-art style, Kleven depicts the adventurous, warm-hearted Abuela and the jazzy, colorful topography of an energetic, multiethnic city. Thoughtful design extends to the endpapers featuring cloud formations that cleverly echo many images from the story. While not bilingual in the strictest sense, this book is a less self-conscious, more artfully natural approach to multicultural material. It should prove useful not only for collections in which there is need for ethnic diversity, but also as enrichment for intellectually curious children who are intrigued by the exploration of another language. --Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Arthur Dorros is the writer of many popular books, a number of which he also illustrated. His best-selling stories include Abuela, which was called "a book to set any child dreaming" and one of the "100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know." Along with awards including ALA Notable Book and Best of the Year for his fiction, his nonfiction books such as Ant Cities are widely recognized, with an Orbis Pictus and numerous Outstanding Science Book awards. He enjoys visiting schools internationally to work with young writers and illustrators.

More information can be found at www.arthurdorros.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I love reading this to my 3-year old daughter.
L. Childs
My kindergartners loved the illustrations and the use of Spanish mixed in with English.
imcurlyq2u
This is a great book to share with your classes as teachers.
Janice Bahns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's hard to resist the charms of a picture book filled to brimming with tiny fabulous details in a vast cityscape. It's probably one of the reasons I love books like, "Who Needs Donuts?" by Mark Stamaty or James Warhola's, "Uncle Andy's" so much. Usually books of this nature are very precise. They hide delicate little intricacies on each and every page, just waiting for the viewer to find them. Yet I've never read a picture book that contains such remarkably colorful embellishments as I have in Arthur Dorros' 1991 treasure, "Abuela". Taking a standard fantasy of wishing to fly, author Dorros and illustrator Elisa Kleven have given us a remarkable journey above a world too complex to capture in a single book. To read this book is to experience something beautiful.

Rosalba is quite close to her Grandmother or "Abuela" as she is called in Spanish. The two often go on enjoyable trips around and about town, just for the heck of it. On this particular day, the woman and the girl go to the park (Central Park, by the look of it) to feed the birds. It's there that Rosalba begins to speculate a little. What if the birds picked her up and started flying away with her? What if her Abuela simply leapt into the sky and flew too? The birds gone, the two could soar above factories, trains, people, and workers. What follows is a story in which Rosalba describes the path the two could take while skimming across the sky. They wave to the people and visit the Statue of Liberty. They race the sailboats, hitch a ride with an airplane, and hug on a cloud. In the end, the two are back in the park and they decide to go on another adventure in a boat. "Vamos" Abuela says, and she takes her granddaughter's hand.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on June 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I think it's the flying. It took us by surprise when, after checking it out from the library, it was suddenly his new favorite book. He was into the typical boy stuff: trucks, trains, front-loaders, rocket ships. Then all of a sudden, all he wants us to read is Abuela. It's a nice blending of fantasy and reality, with strong family relationships, and lots of fun, colorful pictures. He's moved on to other favorite stories now, but he always seems to enjoy this one. The sequel (Isla) is also good. A nice way to learn a few new Spanish words. There's even a glossary in the back with a guide to correct pronunciation. Just make sure you get the English with Spanish phrases, if that's what you're looking for. There is also a version that is completely in Spanish.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book provides a wonderful introduction to a Hispanic-American child's way of life. Rosalba portrays the typical immigrant child without stereotyping. The author uses the Spanish language to lend authenticity to his story, and really gives the readers a chance to experience the fantasies of a child living in New York City.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 1997
Format: Paperback
Miss Jacobs' second grade class really liked the story Abuela. We loved learning Spanish words throughout the book. We liked the way the illustrator drew the s. We all agree that Rosalba's imagination was running wild. We wish we could take an adventure with her.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By sheila_dee@yahoo.com on November 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Our class of 20 latino students appreciates having books with characters that are like them. We liked to read this story on our own and in groups.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MA Pashigian on November 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
In Abuela, Rosalba and her grandmother, her abuela, fly over New York City. This tender tale is told from Rosalba's point of view in English interspersed with Spanish, as her grandmother speaks mostly in Spanish. Even for those unfamiliar with Spanish, the phrases are easy to decipher from the context in which they appear. The focal point of the story is a young girl's love and respect for her maternal grandmother which is revealed during the course of an adventurous day together.

Rosalba and her grandma go all around the city -- and a multicultural city it is - as is evident from the first page when they board a Brooklyn bus. Seeing a flock of birds at the park provides just enough spark of imagination for Rosalba to imagine herself flying. She invites her grandma to join her in flying above the rooftops of New York City. Illustrator Elisa Kleven's watercolor and pastel illustrations mixed with collage are evocative of folk art and lend a vibrant backdrop to the narrative of unbounded adventure.

Rosalba envisions the memories her grandmother would evoke flying over the port where dockworkers unload boxes of fruit from her homeland or flying over Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, her gateway to the United States. Linking hands, somersaulting in midair and waving to her father outside the window of the building where he works, Rosalba revels in her adventures with her beloved grandmother.

It's hard to read this story and not be struck by the love and reverence this young girl feels for her grandmother. Such sentiments are epitomized by the scene where Rosalba and her grandmother gaze and smile at one another as they fly close to the sea, their billowing skirts echoing the movement of the waves below them. That Rosalba is able to appreciate her grandmother's attempts to navigate between the old world from which she came and her new adopted homeland is a big part of the book's charm.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Megan Bernard on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
The story Abuela by Arthur Dorros teaches me to take care of your grandma. Abuela is about a girl who goes with her Grandma on an adventure in the city. They are using their imagination to do things together. Where will their imagination take them in the end?
This reminds me of when I saw my grandma sick in her bed and I felt sad. I ran to the backyard and just like in the story they went to the park. Sitting on the bench and the birds lift Abuela up into the sky.
I liked this story because it reminds me of my grandma and it is fun to be with her. I use my imagination when I am with her and I spend time with my grandma at her house and I give it a 10 out of 10 because she helps her grandma.
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