In this lovely classic, the little girl Rosalba imagines taking a flight with her grandmother (abuela) over the city of Manhattan. Each site they see inspires a memory from Abuela, and so conveys something about the grandmother’s culture. Since Abuela speaks mostly Spanish, the little girl translates. While overhead, they see colorful scenes loaded with people, dogs, food, stores, famous buildings, cars, apartment houses, and activities. The pictures, mixed-media collages done with a folkloric look and stressing the multicultural nature of the city, are vibrant and packed with things to identify.
I also checked an all-Spanish edition of this book, and had no trouble discerning what was going on just from Elisa Kleven’s illustrations. I can see children spending hours of delight searching through all the details in the pictures. Both the Spanish and English editions include words and phrases in the other language along with definitions, woven seamlessly into the very cute story.
Published by Dutton Children’s Books, 1991
Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Paperback: 40 pages