Abuelita's Secret (hardcover Trade Book

Written By Alma Flor Ada
Illustrated by Jacobo Muniz
Critically Reviewed
A boy dreads the first day of class at his new school because he feels he has nothing special to share about himself. Then his grandmother whispers a secret in his ear—when it's his turn to talk, all he needs to do is open his backpack. What has Abuelita hidden away for him?
SKU WW-NL5461
ISBN 9781478868019
Number Level 20
Letter Level K
SKU WW-NL5461
ISBN 9781478868019
Number Level 20
Lexile level 540L
Letter Level K
Series Reycraft Books
Language English
BISAC Subject Headings Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / New Experience
Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Values & Virtues
Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / New Experience
Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Values & Virtues
Price $15.95
Author & Illustrator

Alma Flor Ada

Alma Flor Ada, author of numerous prizewinning books, was born in Camagüey, Cuba. Her grandmother, Dolores Salvador, was a progressive educator who taught her to read and awakened her love of poetry. Following in her grandmother’s footsteps, she has dedicated her life to cultivating transformational education and a love of reading.

Jacobo Muñiz

Jacobo Muñiz went to school with kids who came from other places. They had exotic accents, distinct customs, and different ways of playing the same games that he played. Jacobo brings this world perspective to his illustrations.

Reviews

In this slightly different take on the first-day-of-school story, Gabriel is nervous about his first day at a new school, while his dad is away. Everyone in the household eagerly offers input, but he doesn’t think he has anything of interest to share. Mom assures him that everyone in class will be talking about themselves. Rosa advises him to talk about the family and their pets. Abuelita suggests talking about their recent visit to the beach, and Alfonso says he should tell about their recent trip to Cuba. Gabriel is not happy with any of these ideas. At school, he respectfully listens to his classmates talk about themselves. When his teacher calls on him, he remembers his grandma’s advice, “When your teacher asks you to talk, open your backpack.” As Gabriel reaches for his backpack, pictures, maps, and family-related items spill out. His classmates rush to examine the objects and bombard Gabriel with questions. As the day ends, Gabriel is happy that Abuelita’s secret helped him get through the first day of school and even more excited about another secret that awaits him as he opens the front door—his dad. VERDICT A beautifully crafted, multilayered story about starting school that is buoyed by cheery and warmhearted illustrations. (October 18, 2019)

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