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Sing, Don’t Cry
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Sing, Don’t Cry

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  231 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Once a year, Abuelo comes from Mexico to visit his family. He brings his guitar, his music---and his memories.

In this story inspired by the life of Apolinar Navarrete Diaz---author Angela Dominguez's grandfather and a successful mariachi musician---Abuelo and his grandchildren sing through the bad times and the good. Lifting their voices and their spirits, they realize
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Henry Holt and Company
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Picture-Books with a Latino/Chicano Cultural Background
Every year Abuelo comes from Mexico to visit his two grandchildren, bringing his guitar, his music, and his great spirit with him. "Sing, Don't Cry," he tells his grandson and granddaughter, helping them through the disappointments of childhood, from being left out of the football team to losing one's favorite stuffed animal. Singing keeps the spirits up, and may lead to good things, he tells them... and so it proves.

Apparently inspired by author/artist Angela Dominguez's own grandfather,
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
First book of the year! From the author of Mary Had a Little Llama, a Pura Belpré honor book, this is a tale based on the author’s life story of growing up away from her abuela. Nice illustrations, neat endpapers.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Based on a popular Mexican song and inspired by the author's grandfather's life as a musician, it follows the joys and sadness of three family members and how songs can soothe the soul through good and bad times.
Jess Verzello
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful message and heartfelt story. The panels tell three separate stories while carrying a positive message of finding gratitude in situations and relying on family who loves you. A great contribution for the call for diversity as well.
Lauren Marshall
Text to Text- Sing, Don't Cry reminds me of the book, Drawn together. Drawn together and Sing, Don't Cry are books about different generations connecting with each other. Drawn together focuses on grandpa and grandson having a language barrier and Sing, Don't cry focuses on music bringing grandpa and his grandchildren closer together. Grandpa says, "Sing, don't cry because singing gladdens the heart." Grandpa talks about the distance that is between them and how he only gets to visit once a year ...more
Drawing inspiration from how her beloved grandfather lived his life, the author describes how attitude is what makes the difference in life. A successful mariachi musician, Apolinar Navarrette Diaz, would make his yearly pilgrimage to visit his grandchildren and often use the time they spent together playing music and songs as life lessons. Despite the fact that life often is filled with challenges and experiences that make someone feel like crying, he suggested that singing makes the heart ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Sing, Don’t Cry by Angela Dominguez, PICTURE BOOK. Henry Holt and Company, 2017. $18. 9781627798396



An Abuelo comes to visit his family each year and shares his wisdom about staying optimistic. Instead of crying he says to sing. This will gladden your heart and things won’t seem so bad. Singing will attract others to you as well.

This book has very little text and the reader will have to make a lot of assumptions about the pictures that
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Two children are visited once a year by their grandfather from Mexico. He brings his guitar and shares songs with them every night. He encourages his grandchildren to sing even if they feel sad. When he was a child and had to find a new country to live in, music helped him. The power of music to change your mood and to draw new people and opportunities to you is explained very simply here. Preschoolers will understand the draw of music and will enjoy the direct message of using music as a way to ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Even Americans know the refrain of the song, "Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta, no llores, porque cantando se alegran, cielito lindo, los corazones". This story is based on the author's grandfather, who though he faced big problems in life, never lost his optimism. And he never stopped loving to share music. So as the grandfather in this story sings to his grandchildren when he comes to visit, "If you are sad about something, sing, don't cry". I found the solution to sad things to be simplistic, but the ...more
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Life can be hard, but often losing things means that the door is opened for new and wonderful things to take their place. Abuelo comes to visit once a year and encourages his grandchildren to "sing, don't cry" when things are getting them down because singing gladdens the heart. The simple text belies the intensity of the message, making the book accessible to younger and older children alike for different reasons.
Kyra Nay
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this warm and wise picture book, Abuelo visits his grandchildren once a year, bringing his beloved guitar. As he plays, he shares stories from his past and passes on advice for life’s difficult moments, structured around the refrain, “Sing – don’t cry.” Backmatter identifies the phrase as a line from a popular Mexican song, “Cielito lindo.” Photographs from the author’s childhood adorn the endpapers, further highlighting the personal nature of this story.
Christine Irvin
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every year, the children's Abuelo (grandfather) visits his family. When he comes, he brings his guitar. He sings songs with the children and shares his memories. He spreads the idea that whenever you're feeling scared or sad, you should sing instead of cry and that will make you feel better.

This story was inspired by author Angela Dominguez's grandfather. He made his family realize that whenever they were singing together would experience true happiness.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - maybe up to 5 after chewing it over for a while!

I really, really liked this book! I like the message - sing, don't cry, even if only in your heart.
I loved the illustrations - showing abuelo's story as well as what's happening in the lives of the two children.

Basically, it's just a really great book!
Inspired by the life of successful mariachi musician Apolinar Navarrete Diaz, the author remembers visits with her grandfather and his life advice involving singing through any of the pain that life contains.

An author's note follows the text and photos of Apolinar appear on the inside front and back covers of the book.

Pencil illustrations finished digitally. PreK-2.
Anna Smithberger
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous little book with a simple and wonderful message. The pictures do not communicate every part of the story (likely because losing a leg in an accident is a bit much for visuals in a children’s book, but it still sings.

This would be great for the little ones who love Coco.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think that you should read the informational page on the grandfather before reading this lovely book. My kindergartener, my 80 year old mother and I enjoyed this book. It is about singing when times get tough. I predict that you will love it also.
In this touching family story, an Abuelo comes from Mexico each year to visit his grandchildren. As they spend time together they realize that they all have endured challenges in childhood. Loosely based on the author's grandfather's life.
This short but powerful text is just right to share with kids who are new to a country or new to a school or simply dealing with bullies. It offers a way to stay strong until things change and get better.
I really loved this one. The pictures are bold and great. The story and message are great. I just want to look at the pictures over and over. You can see the emotion in the characters pretty clearly. Also, the dust jacket is very nice.
Julie Seifert
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Love this one! Such a sweet book.
Alyssa Gudenburr
This story is about how grandpa deals with sad events and disappointment, he sings. A positive message for elementary children and would make a great read aloud.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I loved the art, and I really liked the author's note.
Review copy - ARC

This is a sweet story of family and how music can bring healing and connection.

The book is inspired by the lyrics of Cielito Lindo and the author's grandfather.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A delightful look-on-the-bright-side book.
"Because singing gladdens the heart."
Juliana Lee
Children learn from their abuelo (grandfather) that when bad things happen singing can make you feel better and change your attitude.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful way to honor a grandparent! Add this to the multi-cultural shelf, the Mexico shelf, the music shelf, the inspirational shelf, or to any picture book shelf!
Miss Sarah
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked this picture book about a spanish family working their way through life with song. Preschool and up
Donna Mork
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Encouraging words from an immigrant to his family. When things get rough, and they always do, sing, don't cry. And when you lose something, sometimes it makes room for something new and wonderful.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Beautiful pictures!

Childrens' abuelo (grandfather) visits are filled with song. Singing is one of the ways that they can be encouraged in tough times.
Jessica ☕ Rodrigues
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-storybooks
Can I give this book a zillion stars?

Maybe it's because I'm super pregnant, but this book literally made my eyes a little teary.

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Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City and grew up in the great state of Texas. She now resides on the east coast with her boyfriend and petite dog, Petunia.

She is also the author and illustrator of several books for children and a two-time recipient of Pura Belpré Illustration Honor. Her debut middle grade novel, Stella Díaz Has Something To Say, was a New York Public Library and a Chicago