Abuelos by Pat Mora

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Synopsis

In this delightful story two young children, Ray and Amelia, discover an old New Mexican tradition -- 'los abuelos' -- for the first time.

Long ago, in the cold midwinter of Northern New Mexico, village men would go up into the mountains, disguise themselves as scary old men and then go down to the village to see who had been good and who had been bad. The villagers would gather around huge bonfires, or luminarias, where the abuelos -- wearing masks and covered with soot -- would tease the children and then have them sing or dance around the fire. Afterwards everyone would enjoy a party with traditional treats such as bizcochitos (anise cookies) and empanadas (turnovers with sweet fillings).

This midwinter masquerade, which contains elements of Spanish and indigenous Pueblo culture, as well as sharing features common to solstice celebrations in other parts of the world, died out in New Mexico for a time, but has been revived in recent years.
 

About Pat Mora

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Pat Mora is one of the most important American writers for children to have come from the Latino tradition. She is the award-winning author of numerous children's books, including The Night the Moon Fell / La noche que se cayó la lunaand The Race of Toad and Deer / La carrera del sapo y el venado, both illustrated by Domi. Founder of Día (El día de los niños / El día de los libros — Children's Day / Book Day), Pat is an honorary member of the American Library Association. She lives in Sante Fe, New Mexico.Amelia Lau Carling is an accomplished author, illustrator and graphic designer. Her books include the Americas Award winner Mama and Papa Have a Store / La tienda de Mama y Papaand Sawdust Carpets / Alfombras de aserrin, which describes events from her childhood in Guatemala. She lives in Yonkers, New York.
 
Published October 1, 2008 by Groundwood Books. 32 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Lovely watercolors contribute to the charm of this story about a wintertime tradition in northern New Mexico, when the abuelos, or grandfathers, disguised as frightening old men, swoop down from the mountains on cold winter nights to scare the children into good behavior.

Oct 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Abuelos

Publishers Weekly

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PreSchool-Grade 2-After her family moves to the mountains of New Mexico and Amelia learns about the local legend of ""Los abuelos,"" her brother succeeds in using it to frighten her.

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