From the Publisher
2020 Most Inspirational Children's Picture Book, Honorable Mention, International Latino Book Award
"A touching and well-told story of the heartbreak of memory loss through the lens of family-oriented Latino culture. A lovely and needed story of familia in which love conquers loss."Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—The topic of memory loss due to Alzheimer's is the focus of this picture book. This first-person narrative is from the perspective of Luis, whose grandfather lives with his family and cares for him each day after school. During their time together, the two make model planes, cars, and boats, and enjoy painting under the watchful eye of the family dog, Sancho. Quesadilla snacks are a highlight of the afternoon thanks to Abuelo's cooking talents. However, these activities begin to change when his grandfather cannot remember how to fit model pieces together, and then starts to leave the stove on after cooking. He even becomes confused, calling the dog the name of his own childhood pet, "Café," and Luis,"Chico." However, life really changes when grandfather is missing from the home one afternoon. The family searches for him, relieved to find him just a few blocks away, confused and unable to recognize Luis's father. Harris's bright illustrations illuminate the protagonists and their loving relationships. VERDICT This simple, gentle story makes for a one-on-one read-aloud, and will easily evoke conversations around a disease, as well as its impact on family relationships, in a way that otherwise may be difficult for young children to comprehend.—Ruth Quiroa, National Louis University, Lisle, IL
Family love in the face of loss is poignantly shared by de Anda and Harris.
Luis, Mama, Papi, their dog, Sancho, and beloved Abuelo are one tight familia. When Luis gets home from school he spends the afternoons with Abuelo building models, learning to paint, and sharing stories alongside tasty snacks. As time passes, things begin to change. When Abuelo can no longer remember how to fit the models together, he and Luis can still paint side by side. When he forgets to turn off the stove, quesadillas transform into tasty PB&Js instead. But when Abuelo goes missing one day, it is clear things are changing quickly and will never be the same. What afflicts Abuelo is never explicitly identified as the story unfolds, tenderly told in simple first person from Luis' innocent and loving perspective as he slowly confronts new symptoms of his grandfather's progressive dementia. His mother gives Luis sage advice that even though Abuelo's memory is slipping he will always feel Luis' love. Though this is certainly a sweet sentiment, many dementia patients experience apathy and changes in personality along with their memory loss, so the truth of Mama's words is somewhat in doubt. This is nevertheless a touching and well-told story of the heartbreak of memory loss through the lens of family-oriented Latino culture.
A lovely and needed story of familia in which love conquers loss. (Picture book. 4-7)