Synopses & Reviews
Saturdays and Sundays are very special days for the child in this story. On Saturdays, she visits Grandma and Grandpa, who come from a European-American background, and on Sundays -- andlt;iandgt;los domingos --andlt;/iandgt; she visits andlt;iandgt;Abuelito y Abuelita,andlt;/iandgt; who are Mexican-American. While the two sets of grandparents are different in many ways, they also have a great deal in common -- in particular, their love for their granddaughter. andlt;BRandgt; While we follow our narrator to the circus and the pier, share stories from her grandparents' pasts, and celebrate her birthday, the depth and joy of both cultures are conveyed in Spanish and English. This affirmation of both heritages will speak to all children who want to know more about their own families and ethnic backgrounds.
"Through this affectionate and revealing portrait of a bilingual girl's weekend visits to her two sets of grandparents, Ada (Where the Flame Trees Bloom) and Savadier (A Bedtime Story) prove that straddling two worlds can be a blessing rather than a hardship. The left of each spread depicts the narrator spending Saturdays with her paternal grandparents, with whom she speaks English; on the right, she passes los domingos (Sundays) with her Mexican-American Abuelito and Abuelita and converses in Spanish. The situations in the two households share enough similarities that readers can extrapolate the meaning of the Spanish words in context. For instance, on one spread, the colors of the balloons her paternal grandparents give her also appear in the kite that her Abuelito makes for her. Each pairing makes for a loving comparison and contrast, enlivened by Savadier's graceful, warm-toned watercolor spot illustrations. At book's end, both sets of grandparents coordinate a cooperative gift for the girl's birthday. The balance tips slightly in Abuelito and Abuelita's favor, in terms of fun and exoticism (e.g., Grandpa and Grandma watch a video about the circus while the Mexican-American grandparents 'take me to a real circus'). Youngsters, however, will come away with the idea that this girl is very lucky to have four such interesting people who love her. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Alma Flor Ada, an authority on multicultural and bilingual education, is the recipient of the 2012 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and in 2014 she was honored by the Mexican government with the prestigious OHTLI Award. She is the author of numerous award-winning books for young readers, including andlt;iandgt;Dancing Home andlt;/iandgt;with Gabriel Zubizarreta, andlt;iandgt;My Name Is Marandiacute;a Isabelandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Under the Royal Palms andlt;/iandgt;(Pura Belprandeacute; Medal), andlt;iandgt;Where the Flame Trees Bloomandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;The Gold Coin andlt;/iandgt;(Christopher Award Medal). She lives in California, and you can visit her at AlmaFlorAda.com.