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Grandma's Gift

(Grandma's Records #0)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  373 ratings  ·  148 reviews
This prequel to Eric Velasquez's biographical picture book Grandma's Records is the story of a Christmas holiday that young Eric spends with his grandmother. After they prepare their traditional Puerto Rican celebration, Eric and Grandma visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a school project, where he sees a painting by Diego Velasquez and realizes for the first time th ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Walker Childrens
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
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Christine Clayton
Text to World – This book works really well with the TED talk video of Chimanda Adichie. Ms. Adichie speaks about how she was inspired by authors from her home country. Her speech reminded me of this book because in the author’s note at the end of the book Velasquez states that he was inspired by a portrait of painter Juan de Pareja because he looked like him. The fact that he was an accomplished painter inspired him to dream of that possibility for himself.

Bloom’s Questions:
1. Who are the main
Linda Lipko
When Eric's teacher gave his grandmother a note about the holiday project of visiting a special exhibit at the Metropolitan Art Museum, it brought a new adventure. Eric's grandmother never traveled from El Barrio, NY. Eric enjoyed being with her as she yearly took him to the local La Marqueta (fresh food market).

As they once again obtained ingredients for pasteles, a traditional Puerto Rican dish made primarily at Christmas time, the market was busy with sights and sounds of the season.

Cliff Bathke
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-summaries
1. Eric gets to spend Christmas with his Grandma. after they prepare a traditional Puerto Rican celebration Eric's grandmother takes him to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a school project. It was here he saw a painting that made him want to grow up and become a painter. Eric's grandmother takes notice of the excitement she sees from Eric and gives him his first sketchbook and colored pencils for Christmas.
2. Grade 1-4
3. I could use this book in a number of ways when talking about dreams/care
Ciara Plackett
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book would be perfect for the holiday season. It is a great way for students to learn about other culture's Christmas traditions and customs, so I would read this book for pleasure and enrichment. It has strong language and varies in sentence structure. The book also has Spanish phrases that are followed by the English translation, which I loved. This would be a great read aloud to get Spanish speaking students involved with. I'm sure it would make them feel special if I asked them how to p ...more
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Audience: Kindergarten to 3rd grade, boys, girls, ESL students
Appeal: This is an uplifting Christmas story about a boy and his grandmother. Students will love this book around the holiday season. This book is mostly in English, but conversations had in the book are in Spanish, with the English translation following in parentheses. I think that students who have English as a second language might be able to benefit from this book, and those learning Spanish will surely be able to learn a lot too.
Sandra Lopez
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diverse-books
This book is about a boy who is on Christmas break and spends it with her grandmother. The setting is in New York and after he visits the MET he gets inspired after seeing a painting of a Puerto Rican slave who become a painter. The book's pictures are very detailed and realistic, almost like a painting. I recommend this book for the theme, that talks about the boy's family traditions and the graphics in the book. ...more
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
This book is a 2011 Pura Belpre medal winner for illustration. The audience this book is geared towards would include boys and girls in kindergarten through second grade. The book is appealing due to its story and colorful illustrations. It is an interesting story about the relationship between a grandmother and her grandson and the ways in which they help each other.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Audience: Kindergarten and up, Anyone who likes to spend time with their Grandma, anyone who has translated things for others

Appeal: Nice story,Very nice pictures, Christmas Story

Award: Pura Belpre Award Winner 2011- For Illustrations
Kay Mcaloney
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t wait to share this book with my second graders. Grandma and grandson learn more about each other by spending time in El Barrio in New York and by going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for an assignment for the grandson. There is a lot of Spanish in this book as the grandson needs to translate for his grandmother from Puerto Rico. Sweet story and great illustrations. Highly recommend.
Tori Turner
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Grandma's Gift by Eric Velasquez was a realistic fiction novel about a boy who spends his winter break with his grandmother. When with his grandmother he learns about her culture and together they go to the history museum to see a piece of Juan de Pareja. Grandmother automatically recognized him and tells her grandson all about the stories of his she was told when she was young. Looking at this painting inspired the boy to pursue his dreams as an artist. This book spoke to me because it reminds ...more
Brittney Clinton
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This incredible realistic fiction picture book is great for any classroom. As a teacher of several English Language Learners, I love how the author captures the life of a student and his family, while also putting the reader into the shoes of a child who has to help his caregiver with language barriers. The author also weaves in an understanding of the Puerto Rican culture, making this text a great tool for teaching diversity. As a reading teacher, I would use this text to teach the components o ...more
At the "Multicultural Children’s Literature for Joy and Justice" Meetup, after the children's librarian leading the session gave us a series of guidelines to be attentive to (illustrations: stereotypes, tokenism, who's powerful/active, invisibility; storyline: standards for success, resolution of problems, depiction of family; #ownvoices; etc.), we broke into small groups and the children's librarian passed out a mix of books -- some with good representation, some with less good.

This one is good
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Grandma’s Gift

Audience: K-2, and older

Genre: picture book, multicultural, Latino, biographical

Awards: Pura Belpre’ Award for Illustration 2011

Review: The illustrations in this charming story about a young boy of Cuban and African decent are colorful and realistic. This book would be really fun to read before the winter holidays since it takes place just before Christmas. From the illustrations, it appears the setting is the mid 1970s in a Barrio in New York. The main character has an assignment
Haley Hardwick
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction: I thought this book was very lovely, and had great classroom potential behind it. I really loved the relationship between Eric and his grandmother, and how she supported his interests and dreams. It reminded me of my relationship with my grandparents! They love my art work, and have always encouraged me to continue it.

Purpose: Read aloud for grades 1-3
-enjoyment: students will be able to make connections through the relationship of Eric and his grandmother with their own fami
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I heard that this year's Belpre Illustrator award had gone to a book called Grandma's Gift, I groaned inwardly. It sounded treacly and overly sweet, a story about a toy from grandma that symbolized her love, the greatest gift of all... or something else really cheesy like that.

But the book isn't really about Grandm's gift. Not obviously anyway. It was actually a nice surprise because the main characters are of the African diaspora but Spanish-speaking (from Puerto Rico). Actually, this is a
Emily Mateos
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Grade/interest level: Later Primary (3rd grade) to Upper elementary (4th-5th grade)
Reading level: None available
Genre: Picture Book, Multicultural, Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Main Characters: Eric, Grandma
Setting: New York City, New York on winter break from school
POV: from Eric

This is a story about a young Puerto Rican boy who has just left school for winter break. He is going to stay with his grandma during the break so his parents can work. Before he leaves the school, the teacher hands g
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Grandma's Gift by Eric Velasquez is a biographical look at a crucial moment when the author/illustrator first realizes that he coiuld become an artist when he grows up. After preparing for their traditional Puerto Rican Christmas celebration, Eric and his grandma visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for a school project, where he sees a painting by Diego Velasquez. Grandma's Gift is a prequel to Eric Velasquez's biographical picture book Grandma's Records.

The text is evocative o
Aryana Ahmad
This story is more about the Hispanic culture, this boy who spends Christmas break with his grandma. For a class project for over winter break he has to go visit a museum. His grandma is making him help her with cooking and then she said she will take him. When they arrive to the museum, the grandma makes connections with a painting and her heritage.
Personal Reaction - This book was different than any of the other picture books I have read. This book tells a story with nicely illustrated picture
Meredith Trotter
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pura-belpré
Publication: 2010

Grade/Age: Ages 5-10

Annotation: The author describes Christmas at his grandmother's apartment in Spanish Harlem the year she introduced him to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Diego Velazquez's portrait of Juan de Pareja, which has had a profound and lasting effect on him.

Themes: Family, Christmas and Advent, Puerto Ricans, New York City, art

Ways to use the book:

Social Studies - Mark out on a map of New York City the city blocks that make up El Barrio. Put a pin on the map wh
Mitchell M
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Grandma's Gift
Grade/interest level: Upper Elementary (4th to 7th)
Reading level: Grade: 5.3
Genre: multicultural
Main Characters: Eric
Setting: Harlem
POV: from narrator/author

Eric Velasquez shares the story of his relationship with his grandma. They live in Harlem. So for the holidays Eric and his grandma go out and see the some art in the Spanish neighborhood of Harlem They come across the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Diego Valzquez’s portrait comes up. It is about an African born slave and the
Brittnee Pettie
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Comments:An endearing story, told from the point of view of a man when he was just a boy, spending the holidays in the barrio with his Grandma, “Grandma’s Gift” will easily become a favorite of many readers, young and mature. The illustrations are reminiscent of the kind of artwork you’d see at an exhibit and work well with the story’s appeal to the senses. This story was very much a nostalgic one that would be ideal just before naptime or even to start your child’s day. The kind of story that p ...more
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Grandma's Gift is a book about a young boy who while on Christmas vacation is assigned a field trip homework assignment to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Since his parent's work, his Grandma is the one who takes him to the museum, despite her hesitations of venturing out of her neighborhood, El Barrio. While he understands his Grandma is not used to going out and taking the bus to the East Side of Manhattan where people don't look like her. he tries to find a common ground to m ...more
Gerardo Mendoza-Tovar
A boy named Eric and his grandmother spend winter break together while his parents are working. Eric and his grandmother made an agreement that if he would help make food then she would take him to the museum to look at a portrait that was assigned as a task from the teacher. While at the museum, the grandmother notices a portrait of Juan de Pareja, a person she actually knows. Juan was a slave to a great painter by the name of Diego Velazquez who eventually set him free. The portrait made Eric ...more
Ally Patch
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
Grandmas’ Gift by Eric Velasquez. Copyright 2010 Genre: Fiction
Kit Lit: Pura Belpre Award Winning Book
Grandma’s gift is about a young boy who goes and visits his grandmother over his winter break. While being there, his grandmother and him went on some adventures. They went to the market so the grandmother could make the traditional Christmas dish for the family and they also went to the museum. While at the museum, the grandmother recognized a painting that hit home for her. During this time,
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-latino-a
Eric spends every winter break with his Grandmother in El Barrio because his parents have to work. This holiday picture book describes Eric’s experience as he helps his Puerto Rican grandmother prepare for Christmas. The author describes in the detail the long list of ingredients his grandmother has to buy to make pasteles, a customary dish. After Eric is asked to visit a New York Museum for a school assignment, he and his Grandmother leave El Barrio and the comfort of their own neighborhood to ...more
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: libs-642
Velasquez, E. (2010). Grandma's gift. New York, NY: Walker.

Choice Book

Belpre’ Illustrator Award/2011 ALSC Notable Children’s Book List

In this endearing story, the author, Eric Velasquez, describes a time when he spent Christmas at his grandmothers. During the holidays, he had a assignment to write a report on a famous painting that the Metropolitan Museum of Art had just purchased. His grandma promised that if he helped her to make the traditional Puerto Rican Christmas dish, pasteles, she would
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories starts with when a school assignment requires Eric and his grandmother to make a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here Eric and his grandmother see many beautiful and amazing painting, but one in specific stood out. The painting of Juan de Pareja from famous painter Diego Velazquez inspired Eric to become a painter himself. This story brings back to a special day spent with his grandmother that changed his life forever. The illustrations brought the story to life, personalitie ...more
Alyssa Becker
Grandma's Gift; Written and Illustrated by: Eric Velasquez; Copyright 2010; 29pg.
*Belpre Illustrator Award 2011*

This picture book was a touching story of a boy and his grandmother. Because the boy is younger and in school he knows English, where his Puerto Rican grandmother does not and needs to translate for her. I think this initially shows the close relationship the grandmother and her grandson shares, and how close they hold their culture to them, which shows with the traditional food they
Abbie Shawano
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction:

-This story depicts a close relationship between a young boy and his grandmother. Christmas is approaching and they are doing their best to prepare and run errands for the holidays. This Puerto Rican family shares their traditions and meals throughout the book.


-This book could be read aloud to a group of children between first and third grade.
-The different cultures and traditions that are shared during this story could be new and exciting to students. While discussing
Grandma's Gift
By Eric Velasquez
** Pura Belpre Award
Pages- 29
Copyright- 2010

I loved this book! The story tells about a young boy who lives with his grandmother who does not speak much English. The boy helps her go to the store to buy supplies for Christmas dinner which is coming up. The boy must complete a project over Christmas break and the boy and grandmother go to the museum to complete the project where together they grow in their relationship. The book shows a wonderful relationship between
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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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Grandma's Records (1 books)
  • Grandma's Records

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