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Grandma's Records

(Grandma's Records #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Every summer, Eric goes to live with his grandmother in El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) while his parents work. Through the long hot days, Grandma fills her apartment with the blaring horns and conga drums of Bomba y Plena, salsa, and merengue-the music she grew up with in Puerto Rico-sharing her memories and passions with Eric.

But Eric sees Grandma in a new light when she gets
Paperback, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Walker Childrens (first published 2001)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  157 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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L-Angelica Herrera-Vest
Feb 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
This wonderful memoir about a young Puerto Rican boy who spends his summers at Grandma's house in "el barrio" (Harlem) is an authentic book multicultural book. The grandmother is a music fan; she constantly plays her records while she sings and dances with her grandson. The grandmother has a nephew, Sammy, who plays with a famous band. He invites grandma and her grandson out to a special evening one day. Eric Velasquez won the Society of School Librarians International Book Award for this book. ...more
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family
I loved this book! The story shows how powerful music is and how a young boy grows up with his grandma who shows him her love of records and music. She grew up in Puerto Rico, so she tells him of her stories growing there and meeting musicians, while quoting several phrases in Spanish. This is a very sweet and wonderful story to read with students that can let them reflect on their experiences with their grandparents, growing up in a different country, and having a love for music. Plus, there ar ...more
Gail Barge
I am an avid supporter of old-school vinyl, and this story made me want to throw a record on a escape all my stress. What a lovely relationship with a grandparent, just like the story The Raft I just read. Students may not even know what a record is anymore, and this would be an important thing to introduce students to, as well as the development of music technology throughout the years. Such a fun book about the joy of music and the emotional connection to music.
Dec 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008
I love this book. I had the occasion to hang out with my 5 year old twin grand niece and nephew over Thanksgiving. I did the bedtime stories for 5 nights. I really like children's books and don't give myself that much time to read them or keep up with newer children's books. I miss having a little child. Teenagers are a drag. ...more
Sha-Quita Jordan
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: creative, family
This little boy, Grandma's apartment was his summer home. She wrapped her grandson in her world of music while he was spending the summer with her. This story was family oriented. The students would enjoy this story. I would present it to first-third grade. ...more
Ellina Anisimova
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ira
This book features the Puerto Rican culture and the importance of music. A touching story combining music, family, nostalgia, and immigration. I read this story to my class, there were a few Spanish words I wasn’t familiar with but my Spanish speaking students gladly helped out! A great book to include to have available to children from immigrant or Spanish speaking families!
Thalia Ortiz
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Grandma’s Records by Eric Velasquez is a realistic/historical fiction story that has captured my heart and I now have to buy it for my class. This book reflects on the summers of Eric Velasquez when he was younger and how he and his grandmother would listen to music all the time. He mentions how one summer Grandma’s nephew Sammy came, who was in the best band in Puerto Rico, to visit them and served home cooked arroz con gandules (a personal favorite of mine when my grandmas make it) and then in ...more
Sarah Rosati
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This story depicts the experience of a young boy named Eric, who spends his summer in Spanish Harlem under the care of his Abuela while his parents work. He spends his time with her engaging in various culturally significant yet leisurely activities, such as listening to her prized recordings of the musicians that she grew up with in Puerto Rico and hearing about her nostalgia for her native country. The most dramatic moment in the story comes as the two get tickets to see the "best band in Puer ...more
Alex  Baugh
Every summer, as soon as school is out, Eric would go to spend his vacation with his grandma in Spanish Harlem, or El Barrio, in NYC. There, they listen to records and dance away their days, while grandma tells her grandson stories about growing up in Puerto Rico. They listen to a wide variety of Latin music and sometimes grandma would even let Eric pick out what they would listen to. But, he notices, there is one special song that always causes his grandma to put her hand on her heart and close ...more
Mattison Bingham
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diversity
This book has such a sweet storyline. Eric goes to his grandma's house every summer in El Barrio. She loves music and instills this love in Eric. His grandma's begins to tell more about her life using varies instruments, dancing, and speaking Spanish phrases (she grew up in Puerto Rico). Sometimes grandma would allow Eric to put the pick the record to listen and dance around to. One day, a family member that is in a band in Puerto Rico came to visit. This band was forming locally and invited the ...more
Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mc-literature
Every summer, a young boy (the author) happily packs his bags to spend the hot, sticky days with his grandmother in the city. They spent each day "wrapped up in the world of music". Sifting through the stacks of records, grandmother and grandson would dance around or sketch the covers of the albums. On a very special day, they get a visit from the grandmother's nephew, who is a musician in a band from Puerto Rico, which is where the grandmother grew up. They invite them to be special guests at a ...more
Anna Dipprey
I found this book very touching because my grandmother has a special song that reminds her of her late husband just like Eric’s grandmother. I like this book because of its fun illustrations and great message.

Read aloud for enrichment
I think children will be able to relate to this book if they spend time with their grandparents or feel a strong connection to music or art.
The vocabulary and parts of speech in this book are fabulous. There are words like merengue or captured. There are also
Lisa Bonack
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was concerned about how one would convey music through prose, but this turned out to be a beautiful book. The story follows a boy who spends his summers in El Barrio with his Puerto Rican grandmother. They spend their days listening to her record albums. Following the story are the lyrics (in Spanish, and then again in English) to "In My Old San Juan," the song that most touches the grandma's heart. It has piqued my interest in bomba y plena (Puerto Rican folk music). ...more
Grandma's Records tells what a large influence music had in the author's life and the large part it played in his relationship with his grandmother. Each summer was spent with his grandmother listening to music and learning about her childhood in Puerto Rico. This is a sweet and moving story with beautiful illustrations. Highly recommended! ...more
Kara Jones
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a great story line this book has! Eric stay at his grandma's house every single summer in El Barrio. Grandma has a great taste in music. She loves music and shows this love in Eric and how much it means to her. Eric's grandma tells hi about her life and describes the different instruments used, the type of dancing and Spanish speaking phrases. ...more
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Story of a young boy who lives with his music loving grandmother during the summers while his parents work. Her appreciation of music is infectious and he learns to have that musical beat within, just much as his own heartbeat.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This picture book does an excellent job at capturing the feeling of music and memory. There is a nostalgic feel to it, and it introduces both records and Puerto Rican folk music to kids who may not be familiar with them in an accessible way.
Loved the beautiful illustrations that supported the text so well. It is such a lovely tale of the love between a grandmother whose grandson stays with her during the summer while his parents work.
Lorraine Robinson
Can be use for:
- Hispanic music influence on family
- Personal narrative
- Facts about Hispanic musicians
June Guymon
Aug 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Tastefully done.
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
beautiful illustrations. I loved seeing the boy in the story grown up working in his studio. would be a good way to talk about how technology and media change . . .
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love seeing Black Puerto Ricans in a children's book! Often times the image of a typical Puerto Rican is presented as a person with a medium skintone, dark hair and dark eyes. Yes, some of us look like that! However, the beauty of Puerto Rico is that there are people who look like the African slaves who were shipped to the island to work the land, while others are as white as the Spanish colonizers who invaded our shores. Some of us look like the Tainos native to the island. Together we make u ...more
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! Author Eric Velasquez recounts his time spent with his grandma during the summer months while his parents were working. There shared bond over his grandma's extensive music collection from her home in Puerto Rico. The illustrations are also fantastic. I would recommend to anyone who is feeling sentimental. ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Rubin
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic, full of sensory memory — especially but not only music. Brilliant way to help kids recognize the depth of their own connections with people, beyond the simple idea. Got my 8yo thinking 😀
Amanda Geske
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
“Then she’d always ask, ‘¿Como tu sabes?’ (How did you know?)”
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Cesar M.
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Jun 01, 2015
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Eric Velásquez is the illustrator of numerous books for children, including several previous collaborations with Carole Boston Weatherford. He won the John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award for his illustrations of The Piano Man, written by Debbi Chocolate. Eric Velásquez is also the author-illustrator of the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award–winning Grandma’s Gift. Born in Harlem, he lives and wor ...more

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