cover image Abuelos


Pat Mora. Groundwood Books, $18.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-88899-717-3

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. The legend-which bears some similarities to that of the well-known ""Cucuy""-says that each year, soot-covered old men come down from the mountains to see if the village children have behaved. Following her brother's taunting, Amelia hides under her covers and fears that los abuelos will come for her. Once the old men arrive however, a wonderful display of courage leads Amelia to discover the gentle truth behind the scary masks, and allows her to begin to enjoy what turns out to be a fun, traditional celebration, as much as everyone else. The end of the story displays Amelia's entire village enjoying the yearly party following the descent of the masked men. Vibrant illustrations celebrate the traditional elements of the story and depict the abuelos' ghostlike facemasks in a manner that should not frighten children. A perfect Halloween tale, despite the fact that it takes place in winter. Recommended for all Spanish-language collections. Reviewed by Roxanne Landin, Fremont Area District Lib., Fremont, MI