Abuelita and Me

Annick. Apr. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781773216102.
PreS-Gr 2–A young girl loves doing things indoors with her Abuelita, such as eating pancakes, drawing, and painting nails. Going outdoors, however, is a different matter. At the grocery store, on the street, at the bus stop—people take a look at Abuelita and make faces or pretend they can’t understand what she is saying. After an outing that ends in a very upsetting experience with a prejudiced bus driver, the little girl doesn’t want to go outside again. Abuelita tries to comfort her and explain that they did nothing wrong, but the young girl becomes sad and then angry when she thinks of Abuelita being upset. Eventually, the young girl and her grandmother go outside and board the bus, giving each other strength, comfort, and love. Warm, luminous illustrations express the love and happiness of the protagonist and her abuelita as they enjoy each other’s company, while also showing readers their very feelings of sadness and worry. Clear, concise sentences express the girl’s confusion, thoughts, and worries over Abuelita’s treatment by others. This moving story will open up important discussions about racism and prejudice against people of marginalized backgrounds, including those who speak a different language. The digital art is composed of mostly oranges and purples, perfect for representing the tender relationship between granddaughter and grandmother. The pair have varying degrees of brown skin. Many of the scenes depict a diverse, bustling city.
VERDICT A resonant, intergenerational picture book about an important and necessary topic; highly recommended for children’s picture book collections.

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