Title: Grandma’s Gift
Author(s): Eric Velasquez
Illustrator/Photographer: Eric Velasquez
Publisher and Year: Walker and Company 2013
Number of pages: 32
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Descriptive Annotation: Grandma’s Gift, a Pura Belpré award winner, is a story about a Hispanic/Latin American. The main character, Eric, is describing how he celebrates Christmas with his grandma. Eric explains the traditions and what he and his grandma do to prepare for the holiday. Throughout the book there are words written in Spanish and the English translation is written in parentheses.
Interdisciplinary Connections: This book would be very useful in a social studies classroom while studying holidays. The story shows traditions that a Hispanic American family may have during Christmas time. After reading this story, students could compare the traditions in the book to the traditions their own families have. This book also exposes students to a new culture. It centers around a Hispanic American family, and as a result, has some terms in Spanish that do not translate in English (like certain food names). It would be beneficial to go over these terms before reading the story so that students understand their significance to the story. Students could also use this book in a language arts class to discuss why some sentences are written in Spanish and then later translated into English in parentheses. Students could analyze the text and discuss the reason why the author chose to write the story like this.
Differentiations and Reading Approach: This book could be read aloud or in groups. If I were to use this book to study Christmas, I would have one group read this book and pass out several different books all that have different Christmas traditions. After students finished reading the books, I would have the groups summarize the story for the class. After, I would have the class compare and contrast the different traditions that were presented in the various stories. I would also have them compare the traditions to their own lives. I would probably read this book aloud to younger students because it uses higher level vocabulary. In order for all students to participate in discussions, I think it is beneficial to read the book aloud so that new vocabulary terms can be defined.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: Students will be exposed to a different culture when reading this book. They will read about different traditions that may be similar to their own. They will be exposed to new vocabulary that will need to be addressed before reading this story. I would read this book aloud to younger students because there seems be higher vocabulary being used that would need to be discussed. I would have older students read the book in groups and discuss the traditions. Students would learn a lot from getting to experience another culture.