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My Abuelita

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  392 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
Winner of a 2010 Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor!

Abuelita’s hair is the color of salt. Her face is as crinkled as a dried chile. She booms out words as wild as blossoms blooming. She stuffs her carcacha—her jalopy—with all the things she needs: a plumed snake, a castle, a skeleton, and more. Her grandson knows he has the most amazing grandmother ever—with a very important j
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 7th 2009 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Aly Gutierrez
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story is about a child and their grandmother. The boy tells us about her and how she lives with him. Describing her features and what they do together. He walks us through their routine of stretching, showering, preparing breakfast, and getting ready before she goes to work. She hums and sings with the boy to prepare her voice for work. He helps make sure she hasn’t forgotten anything and joins her during every step of the routine. She asks him if she is ready for work, and he tells her wh ...more
My Abuelita is a GREAT children's book. The story is about a little boy and his grandmother (and the cat), throughout the book the boy is describing his grandmother, and their day to day activities: Waking up with the sun, shower/bath time, and breakfast of "huevos estrellados" (starry eggs) among other special things. The little boy mentions the grandmothers important work, work that she loves, throughout the story, at the end we find out that abuelita is a storyteller and the young boy hopes t ...more
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Enough to Eat, March 11, 2010

When I was younger, my neighbor's mom used to make apple-head dolls. Apparently this was some strange Kansas custom that she brought with her to Ohio. I remember wondering what arcane process she used to transform a juicy delicious apple into the wizened little faces that topped her efforts. Yuyi Morales seems to have brought a modern version of the apple-head to her latest work of art. Not content with the rich, colorful perfection of her ea
May 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I am a big fan of Yuyi's work, and she ventured into a new medium here. She is a miracle worker with the clay puppets as she is with acrylics. She is brave, adventurous and innovative and this book proves even more than her previous books have.
Christina Michaels shaw
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shared-reading
My kids loved this book. It is a great book to use for Similes- Figurative Language. I plan on added this book to my teaching books to do with all my kids every year. :)
Mary Ann
I just loved this little boy's relationship with his grandmother - it's a celebration of storytelling, imagination, and finding joy in life.
Jo Oehrlein
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Some words in Spanish, but not many and the meaning is clear from context.

A boy helps his grandmother get ready for the work day. Her job? Storyteller!

Illustrations are 3D mixed media.
Emilce Guzman
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Audience:This book would appeal to primary elementary students K-3.

Appeal: Boys and girls will enjoy the illustrations in this book as some of the objects are in 3D.

Application: I would use this as a read aloud in my classroom. Then I would list the Spanish words used in the story and together as a class we would figure out the definitions. This could be used as an introduction to culture.

Award: Pura Belpre Award 2010

Copyright: 2009

School Library Journal
( August 01, 2009; 9780152163303 )

Samantha Powley
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diversity
My Abuelita is written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Yuyi Morales. The story is about a little boy who lives with his grandmother or Abuelita. He cares very much for her and loves her so very much too. The story starts with the little boy telling about the grandmothers’ routine that she does every morning before leaving for work. One day when they arrive to her work, the little boy realizes what she does. The grandmother is a story teller who tells stories to little children every day. The ...more
Johna Brown
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ohana
This story is a celebration of power, family, and imagination. Tony loves his grandmother so much and she has so many different jobs, he wants to know what it is his that his Abuelita does. Abuelita means grandmother in Spanish. The main characters in this fiction story are Abuelita, the grandmother, and Tony, the author/narrator in the book.
This text is appropriate for instructional use because it can teach about using your imagination, the importance of family and learning a new language (Sp
Addie Lauver
Johnston, T. My Abuelita. Harcourt Children’s Books, 2009. 32 pg. Gr. K-3
This multicultural story is about a child who loves his grandmother whom he calls, Abuelita. Abuelita has hair the color of salt and is round like a pumpkin. She does not seem to care what others think of her because she has an out-going personality. Well she has too because she is a story-teller and her grandson is her helper to make sure she is in check and ready for each show! Because Abuelita is such a positive person m
Jasmine Robinson
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parents
The main idea of the story is trying to figure out what Abuelita does for a living. This story is a celebration of power, family, and imagination. Tony loves his grandmother so much and has so many different jobs and he wants to know what does his Abuelita do. The main characters in the story are Abuelita, the grandmother, and Tony, the author/ narrator in the book. This text is a fiction book.
This text is appropriate for instructional use because it can teach about using your imagination, the
Tyler Shank
Annotation: The main character and her Abuelita have a strong relationship together. They wake up around the same time, they stretch together, they get breakfast together, and then they get ready to start their day. Abuelita likes to sing and yodel saying it prepares her for work. On this certain day getting ready for work Abuelita almost forgets to change out of her robe into her clothes. Then they get in the car together and they travel together to Abuelita's work with lots of props in the bac ...more
Brooke Snyder
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: diversity
Summary: Abuelita’s grandson admired and loved her. He tells a story of her- describing her looks, her morning routine, and her job. Abuelita inspires her grandson. He wants to do what his grandma does- perform and tells a story on stage to the audience.

Personal Response/Critical Response: I enjoyed this book. It was culturally diverse and Spanish students will be able to relate to this book. Not only will Spanish children be able to relate to this book but all children will be able to if they h
Kari Martycz
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Tony Johnston's and Yuyi Morales story about a young boys storyteller grandma is truly amazing. Morales digital photographs of Morales’s unique polymer-clay sculptures, which are unique to Mexican colors and crafts brighten up the story. Grandma (Abuelita) is described with many similes (She is as old as the hills), but no matter what she does, the young boy loves her, and she loves him. They incorporate some spanish words in the story, which add to the meaning of the story.

The story takes plac
Kendra Loch
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
My Abuelita is cute story of a grandmother and her grandson, and we cannot forget about the grandmother's cat! Throughout the story the grandson describes his grandmother, describes her morning routines, and mentions how important her job is. At the end of the story it is revealed that his grandmother is a storyteller and that he wants to be a story too, when he grows old. The illustrations in this book are fantastic. They are very bright and bold. Yuyi Morales took all sorts of materials, inclu ...more
Dana Still
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Text to Self: This wonderful tale of a grandmother and grandson, reminds me of my grandmother. She would explain everything that she was doing and included us grandchildren in everything that interested us, for me, it was her garden, I loved to eat the fresh peas right out of the garden.

Text to Text: This book reminds me of old claymation cartoons that I watched as a child, the illustrations have the same look. The story shows a closeness between a grandmother and grandson and the lessons that h
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Audience: Primary
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Quote: "Then my abuelita booms out words, loud and clear. She always say the words should be as round as dimes and as wild as blossoms blooming."

First, this is a great book to use to teach similes. There are so many in the book that it was hard to choose one that promotes mental images. I really liked this quote because everyone could picture it a little differently. How would round, wild words look? I could picture them just flowing out of her mouth. I d
My Abuelita is the story of the love and admiration a young boy has for his grandmother (My Abuelita). The illustrations are nice and remind me of the claymation characters. Funny how they had a pet cat named Frida Kahlo.....we all know who she was. The spanish words used in this book are followed by their english translation.

Example: caracha, her jalopy; vamonos!, Let's go! "My abuelita is round. Robust, she says, like a calabaza. A pumpkin." After following all of the preparations of the morn
Oct 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
The art is interesting and a little creepy. Morales uses traditional Mexican crafts and dolls to create the little boy, his abuelita, and their world. The dolls were photographed and edited using computers and appear in huge, colorful, full-page spreads. I can't really put my finger on why I find the images a little disturbing, but they might frighten very small children. However, the celebration of color and traditional art is invaluable. The text is very lyrical in its descriptions—"[My grandm ...more
Christine Turner
Winner of a 2010 Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor!

Abuelita's hair is the color of salt. Her face is as crinkled as a dried chile. She booms out words as wild as blossoms blooming. She stuffs her carcacha, her jalopy, with all the things she needs: a plumed snake, a castle, a skeleton, and more. Her grandson knows he has the most amazing grandmother ever who has a very important job. What does Abuelita do? With her booming voice and wonderful props, Abuelita is a storyteller. Next to being a grandmo
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My Abuelita is a story about a young boy who lives with his grandmother. Throughout the whole book he describes how their mornings are and how his abuelita gets ready for her exciting job. The description of his grandmother are humorous and very imaginative. The illustrations are done so wonderfully. It has bright colors and draws to perfection the descriptions the boy gives of every detail about his grandmother. She is this old, loud, and round lady with a crinkled face who dresses in bright co ...more
Brittany Tatum
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
My Abuelita by Tony Johnson is a story about a little boy who lives with his grandmother. The grandmother is a storyteller, who dresses up in costumes and tells stories to children as if it is a production.The boy admires his grandma and wants to be just like her.

I enjoyed every bit of this story. I thought this was a very warm story because of the love and admiration that the little boy had for his grandmother. The illustrations were awesome, they were very bright, colorful, and detailed ori
Oct 25, 2017 marked it as to-read
My Abuelita was a great book! It is great for children. It is about a boy who is close with his grandmother who lives with him. He talks about her features and compares it to things like salt, dried chile, etc. He also explains their everyday activities that he enjoys doing with her. He was trying to figure out her job and it was to be a storyteller. The illustrations are great and go well with the text. It is diverse and good for children because children who are close with grandparents can rel ...more
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
A young boy helps his grandmother get ready for work. The grandmother is a vibrant, caring woman who has a regular routine that the young boy is clearly part of.

I really liked this book! I love the use of mixed media and I found the combination of items with paintings charming. I also liked Johnston's use of repetition and structure. "I know that already. My abuelita says it every day. But I like to hear it anyway." The ending is also wonderful -- a bit mystical with a final reveal that abuelit
Mar 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a delightful story of a quirky grandmother and her adoring grandson, who helps her "arrange things." The spectacular photographs by Mexican illustrator Yuyi Morales are of soft sculptures made of clay, wire, wool, fabric, wood, metals, and Mexican crafts with acrylic painted backgrounds. The Spanish phrases that occur occasionally are translated in context. A good book to provide a non-stereotypical view of Mexican-American culture (Johnston has lived in Mexico). A Pura Belpre Honor Book ...more
My Abuelita is a 2010 Americas Commended Title recipient. This book is about a boy, his grandmother (Abuelita), and her cat, Frida Kahlo. It goes on about their day from beginning to end, and it includes a lot of warm and funny memories, like the kind you share with your Grandma. Abuelita has a great sense of humor and style, as well as loves to sing. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text, adding more background of the home. Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend for any age! The relationsh ...more
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5360-summer-12
Johnston, T. (2009). My Abuelita. Orlando, Fla.: Harcourt Children’s Books.
I enjoyed this lovely book about a young boy and his abuelita. The two spend the day together as they both, especially the abuelita got ready to go to the abuelita’s important job. The boy longs to be just like his adored abuelita, that he so admires. The book captures the beautiful story with complementing illustrations of the boy and his abuelita. What an awesome job the abuelita has and precious time and moments the bo
I think it is so fun that the cat is named Frida Kahlo and that Yuyi snuck in a picture of Frida on a pillow on the first layout of the story. It seems a bit sneaky. :)

I think that it would be fun to stretch and pretend to bathe and hum and yodel like the characters during a read aloud. It would also be fun to predict what job Abuelita is preparing for since it is a mystery until the last page.

There are Spanish words sprinkled throughout, but they are always easy to figure out. I found this to
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
In this book, a little boy details how he and his grandmother, his Abuelita, get ready for her to go to her job. Because she does some strange things to get ready, the reader is left wondering throughout the book, what does she do? Finally, on the last page it is revealed, she is a storyteller. In the classroom, this book could be used to learn about another culture, as this story is sprinkled with Spanish words. It would also be a good starting point to a discussion with the students on multi-g ...more
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Tony Johnston has written many acclaimed books for young people. She and her husband lived in Mexico for fifteen years, where they raised their children. She now lives in San Marino, California.
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“Then my abuelita booms out words, loud and clear. She always says the words should be round as dimes and as wild as blossoms blooming.” 2 likes
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