Abuela
by
Arthur Dorros

Summaries & Reviews

  • While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the sights of New York City.
  • Flying around Manhattan Island, somersaulting in midair, resting in the sky on a chair-shaped cloud.. Rosalba and her grandmother, her abuela, are having an extraordinary adventure. How do they manage this exhilirating travel that started in the park? On Rosalba's marvelous imagination.
  • While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the sights of New York City.
  • 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.
  • 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!