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Grandma's Gift Hardcover – October 12, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3–This companion to Grandma's Records (Walker, 2001) is another memoir of Velasquez's boyhood visits with his grandmother in Spanish Harlem. This time it is Christmas. After helping to shop for ingredients and make her famous pasteles, Eric and his grandmother venture from El Barrio to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The boy has a school assignment to complete and together they discover the work of Diego Velázquez, including the famous portrait of Juan de Pareja. The woman nurtures the boy's fascination with painting by giving him art supplies for Christmas. This beautifully illustrated slice-of-life is sprinkled with Spanish phrases (all translated into English) and rich details about Puerto Rican traditions and culture. Velasquez's full-bleed paintings transport readers to another time and place and expertly capture the characters' personalities and emotions. A gift, indeed.Virginia Walter, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In this prequel to Grandma’s Records (2001), Eric spends his winter break with his Puerto Rican grandmother in her apartment in New York City’s El Barrio. Together, they shop, cook traditional dishes such as pasteles, and complete Eric’s homework assignment: to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and view Diego Velázquez’s masterpiece Juan de Pareja. The pleasing, realistic oil paintings include a well-done replica of the famous painting. Those who appreciated the personal connections between grandmother and grandson in the earlier book will again be satisfied with this story, which incorporates Spanish phrases in the long, descriptive text. Grades 1-3. --Andrew Medlar
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Series: AWARDS: ALA: Youth Media Award Winners 2011
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080272082X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802720825
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,172,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By lyssyloves on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful story of tradition. It teaches the importance of knowing your heritage and passing traditions on. It also shows how frightening it can be to step out of your comfort zone, but that once you do, you will open up other doors for yourself. Just because you are from one place does not mean that you cannot find comfort in another. History is all around us we just have to take a look. This is a picture book that does a great job at recreating what life was like when Eric was a child. This book is based on events that actually happened in his life.
Eric spends every Christmas Vacation with his grandmother El Barrio. This year he has an assignment to complete while on vacation, but first he must help his grandmother prepare her famous pasteles. If she gets all the shopping and cooking done, she will then take him to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is not easy for her because she does not speak English and she usually does not travel outside of her neighborhood. She knows this assignment is important so she agrees to take him before Christmas. Once they are at the museum, Grandma feels nervous because she does not recognize anyone until they reach the piece of art Eric is supposed to write a report about. Grandma immediately recognizes the person in the painting and starts to feel better. She later explained that she learned about this person when she was growing up in Puerto Rico.
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By Jackie on November 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This story is a heartwarming tale about the loving relationship of a grandmother and grandson. In "Grandmas Gift," its winter break and Eric and his grandmother have two special tasks to complete. Grandma has to make her famous pasteles, which is a traditional Puerto Rican Christmas dish. Eric, her grandson has a school assignment where he has to view an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Grandma feels out of her element when visiting the museum in El Barrio. While visiting the Museum, Grandma comes across a familiar painting of Juan De Pareja. He was a slave and personal assistant to Diego Velazquez. The target audience is for 3rd to 6th graders. Many readers may enjoy or relate to the bond between a grandma and her grandson. They may also think about gifts they have received and the deeper meaning they may have from their care giver.
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Format: Hardcover
Grandma's Gift is heartwarming autobiographical narrative of a childhood moment when the author became inspired to be a painter. As a Puerto Rican author, Velasquez offers a book with characters that are not often seen as the main characters in traditional children's books. This book is a great addition for the bilingual Spanish classroom and has a personal sentiment all children can relate to. I found it an enjoyable read with many interesting details, such as the true representation of the New York neighborhood the author grew up in, the traditional Puerto Rican dish of pasteles, an introduction to historical figure Juan de Pareja, and a brief yet inspirational author's note.
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By JenRob on November 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. My husband and I bought this for our four year old daughter after checking it out at the library until we had reached the borrowing limit. Our daughter is an avid reader and as her parents we have a deep appreciation for seeing people who look like us depicted in a positive light. We enjoyed how the Spanish language and Puero Rican culture are peppered throughout the book and the art work is beautiful. We also enjoyed learning about the wonderful relationship the little boy had with his grandmother. This is a wonderful book that we will be reading for years to come.
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By terrye benjamin on March 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Exactly like the library book only brand new! glad i got it. dont have any more to say. good bye.
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