Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Author: Arthur Dorros
Illustrator: Raúl Colón
Publisher: Harper Collins
Riding horses with his Grandfather, or Abuelo, a young boy learns valuable lessons that prepare him for the day when his family moves from the country to a city. When the boy lost the trail, his Abuelo tells him that it is good to laugh, even in hard situations. This lesson and others on themes such as courage, positive thinking, and appreciation for the natural world are all applied to the boy’s new situation as he remembers what Abuelo taught him. In this way, Abuelo rides with him always.
While short and simple, Abuelo is a masterfully illustrated story that can help children to feel near loved ones who are far away. Vibrant colors and a textured look give this book an aesthetic appeal. Set in the Pampas of South America and the city of Baltimore, readers will be able to visualize the change that the young boy experiences from his move. The text and illustrations have a symbiotic relationship and create a clear picture for readers. The author included Spanish words throughout the book with the English word immediately preceding or following. The short length might facilitate easy use in a kindergarten or first grade class social studies lesson, or as a bedtime story.