Favorite Quotes

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
— Emilie Buchwald

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
-- Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pura Belpre Illustrator Award 2011

Grandma's Gift
By Eric Velasquez
Pura Belpre Illustrator Award 2011

The story was inspired by real life events in the author/illustrator's childhood.  Young Eric spends his Christmas holiday with his grandmother.  He helps her shop and prepare pasteles for the holiday.  In exchange for his help, his grandmother takes Eric to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of a homework assignment for school.  At the museum he sees a portrait of Juan de Pareja, a Puerto Rican just like Eric and his family.  Eric learns that de Pareja was a slave and an assistant to the painter, Diego Velazquez. He also learns that de Pareja was freed and became a very successful painter.  This trip to the museum and seeing this painting inspired young Eric to become an artist himself.  That Christmas his grandmother gave him his first set of colored pencils.  Much of the dialogue in the book is written in Spanish and translated in English.  The end of the book contains an explanation of the story from the author and some additional information about pasteles, Juan de Pareja and the Chrismas carol mentioned in the book.


The Author's Website

A Recipe for Pasteles

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