for Just a Minute!
by Yuyi Morales
When Grandma Beetle answers the knock at the door, she finds Señor Galavera has come to take her with him. “What a skinny gentleman!” she thinks. Grandma’s understatement is obvious—Señor Galavera is a skeleton. If his arrival seems faintly threatening, readers and listeners quickly realize that Grandma Beetle has no intention of going anywhere. She puts Señor Galavera off with a litany of tasks she must complete—one house to sweep, two pots of tea to brew, three pounds of corn to make into tortillas, and so on. As she completes each task, Señor Galavera counts it off in both English and Spanish. Although he’s a gentleman, Señor Galavera’s patience begins to grow thin about the time Grandma’s filling seven piñatas. But by the time she gets to the number ten, the tables have turned completely on Señor Galavera’s intentions. How can he possibly take Grandma with him after he’s been a guest at her birthday party? Yuyi Morales’s original trickster tale highlights numerous Mexican cultural traditions. The vibrant acrylic and mixed-media illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to the lively and humorous story. (Ages 4–7)
CCBC Choices 2004 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004. Used with permission.
In this original trickster tale, Senor Calavera arrives unexpectedly at Grandma Beetle's door. He requests that she leave with him right away. "Just a minute," Grandma Beetle tells him. She still has one house to sweep, two pots of tea to boil, three pounds of corn to make into tortillas -- and that's just the start! Using both Spanish and English words to tally the party preparations, Grandma Beetle cleverly delays her trip and spends her birthday with a table full of grandchildren and her surprise guest. This spirited tribute to the rich traditions of Mexican culture is the perfect introduction to counting in both English and Spanish. The vivacious illustrations and universal depiction of a family celebration are sure to be adored by young readers everywhere.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.