Abuelo by Arthur Dorros Book Review

Abuelo by Arthur Dorros
Illustrations by Raúl Colón
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: April 22, 2014

A young boy and his abuelo (grandfather) go camping together, ride horses, and even confront a mountain lion. He loves spending time withe his abuelo, but what will happen when his family moves from the country to the city? Using memories of his abuelo, the boy adjusts to his new life.

A book in English, with a smattering of Spanish, I am not entirely sure who the audience for this book is. There isn't enough cultural references or exact locations for this book to feel like a story of culture. It could have been set in Mexico or Texas and I wouldn't know which. If it is about the memory of a grandfather, then it is a rather melancholy book, for there is no return to the abuelo in the end so it is almost like the grandfather has died. From what I gathered, after they moved, there was very little chance the boy will ever see his beloved grandfather again. If it was supposed to be an introduction to the Spanish (or English) language, then there far too many phrases and not enough individual singled out words. The Spanish phrases throughout also slow down the story since the reader must slow down to read these unfamiliar words before translating them again into English. Perhaps it was a book about memory, but I never felt entirely attached to the characters, so I never felt an emotional tie to those memories.

The illustrations on the other hand are beautiful. Classic and soft, with colors that leap off the page.