A gift from Abuela

Cecilia Ruiz

Book - 2018

"The first time Abuela held Niña, her heart overflowed with tenderness. And as Niña grows up, she and Abuela have a lot of fun doing simple things. Abuela decides that she wants to buy Niña a special treat, so she saves a little bit of her money every week. But then something terrible happens, and Abuela's dream of a surprise for Niña seems impossible. Luckily, the time they spend together and the love they have for each other are the best gifts of all."--

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jE/Ruiz
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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Ruiz Due Oct 7, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press 2018.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Audience
Ages 4-8.
Awards
A Junior Library Guild selection
ISBN
9780763692674
0763692670
Main Author
Cecilia Ruiz (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

From the day Niña is born, she and her grandmother have a special, loving relationship. Throughout Niña's childhood, she and Abuela sing, dance, laugh, go to the park, and create beautiful papel picado banners, a type of Mexican folk art. As Niña grows older, she wants to spend time with her friends, Abuela visibly ages, and external changes related to Mexico and its economy add stress. Soon, the country decides to replace its currency, and old bills must be exchanged for new ones. But because Abuela is becoming more forgetful, she does not exchange the currency she'd been saving, and by the time she and Niña find the stash of money, it's too late: the money is worthless. Rather than mourn the monetary loss, however, Niña suggests cutting the old bills into papel picado banners, and their time shared together is priceless, even though it doesn't cost a thing. Ruiz's mixed-media illustrations, which resemble block printing, nicely telegraph the shifting mood of the story, successfully conveying a complex topic in a genial way. Grades K-3. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This family story by Ruiz (The Book of Memory Gaps) unfolds in Mexico, where Abuela and Nina, grandmother and granddaughter, enjoy small pleasures like making papel picado (paper-cutout banners), and their very favorite activity: "Every Sunday, they would sit quietly in the park, eat pan dulce, and watch the people pass by." Abuela begins to save peso notes, planning to buy something special for Nina—but Nina grows up, Abuela grows older, and a newly issued currency renders the savings valueless. A surprise visit by Nina one day finds a new use for the devalued pesos and an affirmation of the joy the characters share. To accompany her tale, Ruiz creates folk-naif woodcut-style illustrations in muted shades of blue, gray, rust, and mustard, evoking old posters and faded peso notes. The story traces how time shifts family situations, and—a point not commonly taken up in picture books—the way people's economic circumstances can change in ways they can't plan for or control. But Ruiz's most important message is that love survives no matter what. Ages 4–8. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Aug.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 1—Ever since Niña was born, she and Abuela have loved spending time together, making papel picado, and especially eating pan dulce in the park every Sunday. As Niña grows older, Abuela puts away the pesos she can in order to buy Niña a special gift. As time goes on, things change—not only between Abuela and Niña, but in all of Mexico as well. Niña spends more time with her friends, and when the currency in Mexico changes, Abuela's pesos are no longer worth anything, and she sometimes has difficulty gathering coins to set aside. When Niña visits Abuela, she finds the house dusty and lonely, and decides to clean it up and surprise Abuela. When she finds the pesos set aside, Abuela tells her about the special gift she had wanted to give her. Using the paper money, they decide to make beautiful papel picado together, and go back to their favorite way of spending Sundays: eating pan dulce in the park. Beautiful and soft pastel colored illustrations decorate every page and bring the papel picado and the homes and neighborhoods to life. Filled with lovely illustrations and the all-too-true message that "sometimes life just gets in the way," this story seems to be going in different directions, and ultimately ends abruptly and leaves readers yearning for a little bit more. VERDICT An additional purchase.—Selenia Paz, Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Spending time with her beloved little Nina, Abuela begins saving money for Nina's future only to lose her savings to life hardships, a challenge that helps both realize the greater value of shared time together. A first children's book by the creator of The Book of Memory Gaps.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In her first book for children, Cecilia Ruiz illuminates how things can change ' and the importance of holding on to our dearest relationships when they do.The first time Abuela holds Nina, her heart overflows with tenderness. And as Nina grows up, she and Abuela spend plenty of time together. Abuela can't help thinking how much she'd like to give Nina a very special treat, so she saves a little bit of her money every week ' a few pesos here, a few pesos there. When the world turns upside down, Abuela's dream of a surprise for Nina seems impossible. Luckily, time spent together ' and the love Abuela and Nina have for each other ' could turn out to be the very best gift of all. With a soft and subtle hand, author-illustrator Cecilia Ruiz draws from her own history to share a deeply personal tale about remembering what's most important when life starts to get in the way.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In her first book for children, Cecilia Ruiz illuminates how things can change — and the importance of holding on to our dearest relationships when they do.The first time Abuela holds Nina, her heart overflows with tenderness. And as Nina grows up, she and Abuela spend plenty of time together. Abuela can’t help thinking how much she’d like to give Nina a very special treat, so she saves a little bit of her money every week — a few pesos here, a few pesos there. When the world turns upside down, Abuela’s dream of a surprise for Nina seems impossible. Luckily, time spent together — and the love Abuela and Nina have for each other — could turn out to be the very best gift of all. With a soft and subtle hand, author-illustrator Cecilia Ruiz draws from her own history to share a deeply personal tale about remembering what’s most important when life starts to get in the way.