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Just in Case

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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  761 ratings  ·  181 reviews
THREE-TIME PURA BELPRÉ WINNER

Yuyi Morales takes us on a new journey with Señor Calvera, the skeleton from Day of the Dead celebrations. Señor Calvera is worried. He can’t figure out what to give Grandma Beetle for her birthday. Misunderstanding the advice of Zelmiro the Ghost, Señor Calvera decides not to get her one gift, but instead one gift for every letter of the alpha
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Roaring Brook Press
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  761 ratings  ·  181 reviews


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Jon Nakapalau
Señor Calvera looks for the perfect gift - but in the end he learns about giving. Very nice book that teaches children the importance of family and friends.
Lisa Vegan
I just read Just a Minute!: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book by the same author/illustrator. This is a sequel of sorts to that book.

This is an alphabet book with A through Z highlighted, but the story is what’s most important in this book. The A through Z are done with Spanish words; the rest of the story is told in English.

It’s Grandmother Beetle’s birthday. Again. Señor Calavera wants to bring her gifts that she will love, and he gathers them to bring, each gift starting with an A through Z.
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Alison
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book! This is a cute story about a skeleton, Senor Calavera, that is going to Grandma Beetle's birthday party. On his way, the ghost of Zelmiro stops him to remind him to bring a present for Grandma.The skeleton goes through every letter of the alphabet while finding presents to bring for her. The ghost of Zelmiro keeps having the skeleton find more presents "just in case". On the way to the party, the skeleton, who was riding a bike, zoomed down a hill, fell, and l ...more
Guanlan Xu
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Age 4 and up

This book is good for kids who want to learn Spanish alphabet with fun. Each Spanish word has its English explanation which makes learning much easier. Although the main character Señor Calvera is the death, his image is positive. As Señor Calvera thinks about the gifts, he became more caring about grandma’s happiness not just want to give a meaningless gift. At last, he brought grandpa to the birthday party. This book teaches kids more than alphabet but the love among our family. It
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Heather Edrington
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
This is a Spanish Alphabet book that would be a great aide for English Language Learners.
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved the illustrations and the humor. Has AR quiz. Level J, I think.
Leslie
It is almost time for the Grandma Beetle’s birthday party and Señor Calavera is nearly ready to go, tie ironed, bike maintenance… Then Señor Zelmiro appears suggesting Señor Calavera should bring a gift. He has time. Unsure of what would make Grandma Beetle most happy to receive on her special day, Señor Calavera will choose gifts of every letter of the alphabet.

As he collects gifts alphabetically— Una Acordéon: An accordion for her to dance to. Bigotes: A mustache because she has none. Cosquill
...more
Sarah
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literacy-course
Lexile: N/A but appropriate for ages 4-8
Age level: Primary
Genre: Traditional, multicultural

Main characters: Senor Calavera, Grandma Beetle, Zelmiro the Ghost
Setting: Somewhere that seems like the south west

Just In Case is a whimsical picturebook written in modern folklore. The main character, a skeleton named Senor Calavera, is preparing for his best friend, Grandma Beetle's birthday party. He diligently pumps air into his bicycle tire and irons his favorite tie, making sure that he looks snazz
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Alissa Anderson
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Audience: This book would be great for students in 1st - 3rd grade.

Appeal: This book has wonderful illustrations that are colorful and very fun. The students will love the main character who is a skeleton and all of his different gifts he collects.

Application: This book is a Spanish alphabet book, so I would probably use it to incorporate Spanish vocabulary in with my other vocabulary lessons. If I were just to read this book, I would read it to the class aloud and then have the students do an
...more
Johnny
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Title: Just In Case, A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book

Genre: Children's Spanish alphabet book

Summary: Senor Calavera is one his way to Grandma Beetle's birthday party when he is told by the ghost Zelmiro that he has forgotten to get a loved gift for Grandma Beetle. On the journey to the party, Senor Calavera tries to find a series of gifts from A-Z that Grandma Beetle would love the most.

A. This critique focuses on the beautiful illustrations used in this story to show the story's setti
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Christina Mathers
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales in 2008. It is a story about Señor Calavera finding a present for Grandma Beetle’s birthday. He had such a blast at last year’s birthday party, that he wouldn’t miss it for anything this year. On his way to the party Zelmiro the Ghost reminded him that he forgot the present. As Señor Calavera goes looking for the present, he goes through the alphabet with Spanish names for his presents. He then tells you what the English name is. For example ...more
Samantha Powley
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diversity
Just in Case is written by Yuyi Morales. This book is a trickster tale and Spanish alphabet book. The plot of the book is about a skeleton from the Day of the Dead named Señor Calvera. He is worried about what to give his Grandma Beetle for her upcoming birthday. He decides to not just give her one present, but to give her one for every letter in the alphabet. Señor Calvera and the help of Zelmiro, the Ghost, make a list together of things for every letter in the alphabet to get for Grandma Beet ...more
Rosa Huerta
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Señor Calavera is attending, his dear friend, Grandma Beetle’s birthday party. On his way to the fiesta, Zelmiro the Ghost stops him to ask him if he has forgotten anything. Shocked that he has forgotten to get a present for Grandma Beetle, Señor Calavera is determined to find the perfect gift. Zelmiro the Ghost tries to help him by reminding Señor Calavera that the best gift is the thing she would love the most. Señor Calavera finds many breathtaking presents for Grandma Beetle, finding a prese ...more
Libby Erwood
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Just in Case by Yuyi Morales is a picture book following deathly creatures and there journey of thinking of what to get their grandmother for her birthday. Each idea that is thought of incorporates a letter in the Spanish alphabet in order, which is a cool theory for a book. I personally think the incorporation into our children's literature is a cool concept because of the growing melting pot that is present in our nation. I thought the pictures and the storyline was a cool concept that held my ...more
Catey Steele
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Just in Case by Yuyi Morales is a cute multicultural book about the Latino culture. This book is about Señor Calavera, and his search to find Grandma Beetle the perfect birthday present. While on the way to the party he is tricked by his friend, who is also attending the party, Zelmiro who makes Calavera think that his gifts are not sufficient enough for Grandma Beetle. All while searching for the perfect gift, this book goes through the complete alphabet with each gift being the next letter in ...more
Mary
Oct 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
2009 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winner
Grades 1-4

This is beautifully written and illustrated story of Señor Calavera (skeleton), who is on his way to Grandma Beetle's birthday party and gets stopped by Zelmiro the Ghost. I think some children might be confused by the skeleton and the ghost and the way the face of the skeleton is painted, unless you are familiar with Mexican culture. Then, the story goes on to go through the Spanish alphabet, naming things that Señor Calavera could gift to Gran
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Rebecca Ostrega
This is my second multi-cultural book review:

This book is about a calavera that gets invited to Grandma's birthday party. He tries to find the perfect birthday present but along the way gets sidetracked by a spirit.The spirit makes the calavera wonder if the presents are good enough. So of course the skeleton continues loading presents on his bike and becomes more and more late to the party. Eventually the bike is stacked high with gifts, but not before the spirit trips him and everything goes t
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Ch_nataliepelaia
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Winner of the Belpre Author Honor and Pura Belpre Illustrator Award, Just In Case is filled with beautiful illustrations of colorful, bright pictures. The main character is a skeleton, Senor Calavera who is on his way to Grandma Beetle's birthday party. Then a noise from the from the grave, reminds the skeleton that he is forgetting a present to bring to the party. The noise is the ghost of Grandma beetles late husband, Grandpa Zelmiro. Using the Spanish alphabet he shows the skeleton all of the ...more
Tessa Ann
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I would have to say that I loved this book so much! Señor Calvera a day of the dead skeleton is looking for the perfect birthday present to give to his grandma Beetle. He goes through the entire alphabet to get her the perfect present only to find out that the best one is being able to see all of her friends. He uses spanish and english words for each item. I learned a great amount of spanish words from this childrens' novel. I think that this is a perfect book for children of all ages. It not o ...more
Marissa Kohlrenken
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Senor Calavera is always welcome at my Birthday party!!

This fun and whimsical book has incredible illustrations, possibly my favorite images ever in a children’s book! I love the bright colors and attention to detail. Yuyi Morales selected eye-catching, warm, rainbow tones to use throughout this delightful story. There is a beautiful, glowing, blue and black Monarch butterfly on every page, sometimes obvious and sometimes less apparent, but it is always there. The text and illustrations perfect
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Lauren Slanker
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: children learning the alphabet, multilingual children
"Just in Case" is an exciting tale of a skeleton who is on his way to celebrate Grandma Beetle's birthday. On the way there, he meets Zelmiro the Ghost who convinces Señor Calavera that he needs to find many presents for Grandma Beetle. Señor Calavera must use his cabeza to think of things that Grandma Beetle will like. Going through the entire alphabet, Señor Calavera manages to find wonderful regalos. However, Zelmiro has other plans and the gifts might just not make to Grandma's house in ...more
Cynda
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
A book for hispanic American children who live between cultures, to whatever degree.
Morales is both the writer and the artist which helps to have a well-merged art-and-story book.
Hispanic culture sometimes laughs at Death, trying live vibrantly while outpacing Death.
Good book for Halloween.
Kaethe Douglas
The KitKat loved it. In fact, she wanted to recommend it to her Spanish teacher.

Library copy
Megan
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
The illustrations in this children's book are beautiful, and the ending is feel-good.
Side note to self: learn more Spanish.
Emily Scanlon
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book Level: 2.3

Summary: Senor Calavera wants to find Grandma Beetle the perfect birthday present. While rushing to bring her one of everything (22 gifts for the letters of the Spanish alphabet), he has an accident on his bicycle and loses every item. However, it is his ghost friend, Grandpa Zelmiro, who he brings that is Grandma Beetle’s most treasured gift.

Writing Trait: Ideas – The main idea of this story is that loved ones are more important than material items. This idea does not get lost by
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Rocio Ramirez
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Genre: Diverse Literature
Award: Pura Belpre
Audience: 1st -3rd grade
a. Mexican culture is being emphasized in the story.
b. The day of the dead event is being discussed/use. The day that is actually celebrated isn't being discussed, but the belief of the after life is.
c. Evaluate how the author portrayed the culture in the story – positively or negatively? Explain The culture is portrayed positively. It has the Spanish alphabet embedded in it, and the culture isn't the main focus of the story line
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Shel
Apr 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Morales, Y. (2008). Just in Case: A trickster tale and Spanish alphabet book. New York: Roaring Brook Press.

1596433299

While on his way to Grandma Beetle’s birthday party, a ghost informs Senor Calavera that he has forgotten her gift. What follows is a list of possible gifts listed alphabetically—by the Spanish alphabet, with each object being named in Spanish, but with illustrations and English descriptions.

The illustrations are beautiful. With wonderful use of color, they share Hispanic images
...more
Olivia Evans
Plot Summary: It is almost time for Grandma Beetle’s birthday party and Señor Calavera is nearly ready to go until Señor Zelmiro appears suggesting Señor Calavera should bring a gift. For now, he has time. Unsure of what would make Grandma Beetle most happy to receive on her special day, Señor Calavera will choose gifts of every letter of the alphabet. As he collects gifts alphabetically— Una Acordéon: An accordion for her to dance to. Bigotes: A mustache because she has none. Cosquillas: Tickle ...more
Stephanie Siren
Type: Picture Book

Genre: Fantasy

Awards: Américas Award (2009), Pura Belpré Award for Illustration (2009)

Summary:
This story is about Señor Calavera and his invitation to Grandma Beetle's birthday party. Just as he is on his way, he is stopped by Zelmiro. Zelmiro reminds Señor that he is forgetting something, a present. Señor searches every where to find a gifts and ends up with more than enough. Every time he thinks that he is done, he goes back to check 'just in case'. Señor ends up with a gift
...more
Stephanie Koerner
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Grade/interest level: 2nd-4th grade
Reading level: 540L
Genre: multicultural

Main characters: Senor Calavera, Zelmiro, and Grandma Beetle
Setting: The path between Senor Calavera's home and Grandma Beetle's home
POV: Narrator

Summary:
In this book, Senor Calavera is going to visit his good friend Grandma Beetle for her birthday party. On the way, the ghost of Zelmiro stops Senor Calavera to remind him that he is forgetting to bring a present for Grandma Beetle. Senor Calavera sees he has plenty of time
...more
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Yuyi Morales is the illustrator of Kathleen Krull’s Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, whose accolades include a Pura Belpré Award and a Christopher Medal, as well as the Pura Belpré Award-winning Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes. Born and raised in Mexico, she now lives in northern California.

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