by Arthur Dorros
Illustrated by by Raúl Colón
Together, a boy and his grandfather — his Abuelo, ride horses, go camping, and even face a mountain lion. When the boy’s family moves from the countryside where Abuelo lives, to the city, the boy discovers that his memories help him adjust and sustain him. Incredible illustrations illuminate how a bond between two people can reach across time and miles.
“The lessons learned on the open plains help the young boy come to feel at home in the city – laughing when he feels fear, standing strong against a bully and finding comfort in gazing at the city stars. This book succeeds at both specificity and universality, presenting the distinct culture of the gaucho cowboy and the plains of South America through a story that will resonate broadly with many children and families.” —Kirkus
“The warm relationship between a young boy and his grandfather…soaring landscape and emotions.” — The Wall Street Journal
“The dynamic interaction between the man and his grandchild is affectionately portrayed…all in all, this is a beautifully illustrated, sweet story.” — School Library Journal
Story behind the story
Abuelo is a story that rides the winds of the South American plains, the pampas, yet the story did not grow out of thin air. The book was inspired when an Argentine friend, Aldo Redmond, told me about his “Abuelo Gaucho” or grandfather cowboy. As in this story, they rode the Pampa together, and all through his life even when far from the Pampa or Abuelo, Aldo would remember those experiences and feelings of riding free. I have been in Argentina numerous times. When my son and I went to South America to visit family and friends we saw the wide-open landscapes with animals such as vicuñas, and ranch houses just as Raúl Colón pictured. His great illustrations capture the place, the people and the strong relationship that underlie this story and that I hope everyone can have or find in their own lives.
Read about the author’s experience in South America sharing Abuelo with the man who inspired the story