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Abuela (English Edition with Spanish Phrases) (Picture Puffins) Paperback – May 1, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 510 (What's this?)
  • Series: Picture Puffins
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140562257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140562255
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 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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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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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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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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By Lp on April 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
In the book “Abuela” by Arthur Dorros, readers meet a young girl named Rosalba whose vivid imagination take her and her grandmother on an animated adventure throughout the city. Rosalba and her Abuela share a love for each other and their love of imagination. The creative two ladies take young readers on a journey with the help of vibrant and colorful imagery. On a trip to the park Rosalba’s wonders what would happen if she could fly like the birds, readers soon leap into the sky and begin flying all over the city. When flying over the city, readers see the diversity of the people waiting for the bus, they sail with the nearby ships, watch people unload the ships, see them unload items that her Abuela grew up with, they fly over the Statue of Liberty, and fly with the airplanes. At the very end Rosalba visits some family members and then ends up back where she started, at the park. As Rosalba and her Abuela walk by the lake in the park, her Abuela decides to go on a boat ride, and yet again another adventure begins.
I believe the book “Abuela” is an amazing book to promote in the classroom because multiculturalism is shown throughout the book. One way multiculturalism is shown is that there are not just white kids. Even though it is a Hispanic based book, you see all types of different skin tones throughout the book. This way everybody is included in the story while learning about a culture that is different from their own. Another way multiculturalism is shown is that there is a mix between the English and Spanish language. Both languages are shown in the book and in the back there is a glossary of the Spanish words spoken. The glossary also shows how to pronounce a word if a reader is not familiar with it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a sweet story but the illustrations are fairly confusing for children. It seems to fall a bit into the category of illustrations that adults like because they are artistic, but they are a bit too artistic at times for children.
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