Grandma's Gift
Grandma's Gift

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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.
Catalog Number: #47321
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Walker & Co.
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition Date: 2010
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8027-2082-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-47890-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8027-2082-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-47890-9
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2010005326
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In this prequel to Grandma's Records (2001), Eric spends his winter break with his Puerto Rican grandmother in her apartment in New York City's El Barrio. Together, they shop, cook traditional dishes such as pasteles, and complete Eric's homework assignment: to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and view Diego Velázquez's masterpiece Juan de Pareja. The pleasing, realistic oil paintings include a well-done replica of the famous painting. Those who appreciated the personal connections between grandmother and grandson in the earlier book will again be satisfied with this story, which incorporates Spanish phrases in the long, descriptive text.
Horn Book
In this story based on his childhood, Velasquez describes a memorable first visit with his grandmother to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There they see a portrait that serves as young Eric's inspiration for an artistic career. Realistic-looking oil paintings show scenes of New York, from the barrio's markets, as Grandma buys ingredients for a Christmas feast, to the staid museum.
Kirkus Reviews
In this touching autobiographical prequel to Grandma's Records (2004), Velasquez recalls a special Christmas vacation during his childhood when he stayed with his grandmother in El Barrio (Spanish Harlem). Eric accompanies his grandmother to the neighborhood shops as she purchases the ingredients for her special Christmas Eve dish, pasteles . In turn, she accompanies her grandson to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of a school assignment to view its newly acquired painting, Juan de Pareja , by Diego Velasquez. The realistic oil paintings reveal a strong and stylish grandmother of great character and a polite child who is thrilled with his grandmother's Christmas gift of a sketchbook and set of colored pencils. The sweetly understated story has Spanish words and sentences skillfully woven into the text throughout with translations provided in parentheses. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-9)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3&12; This companion to Grandma's Records (Walker, 2001) is another memoir of Velasquez's boyhood visits with his grandmother in Spanish Harlem. This time it is Christmas. After helping to shop for ingredients and make her famous pasteles , Eric and his grandmother venture from El Barrio to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The boy has a school assignment to complete and together they discover the work of Diego Vel&5;zquez, including the famous portrait of Juan de Pareja. The woman nurtures the boy's fascination with painting by giving him art supplies for Christmas. This beautifully illustrated slice-of-life is sprinkled with Spanish phrases (all translated into English) and rich details about Puerto Rican traditions and culture. Velasquez's full-bleed paintings transport readers to another time and place and expertly capture the characters' personalities and emotions. A gift, indeed.&12; Virginia Walter, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
Word Count: 1,582
Reading Level: 5.3
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 140900 / grade: Lower Grades

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 that he could be an artist when he grows up. Grandma witnesses his fascination, and presents Eric with the perfect Christmas gift-a sketchbook and colored pencils-to use in his first steps toward becoming an artist. A heartwarming story of self-discovery, Grandma's Gift is a celebration of the special bond between a grandparent and grandchild.

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