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#ReadYourWorld Story, Snack & Craft: A Gift From Abuela

Enjoy a story that will warm your heart, a treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth, and a craft that will introduce you to Mexican culture.

A Gift From Abuela, a children’s book written and illustrated by Cecilia Ruiz, is a personal story reminding us that it is our dearest relationships that will get us through the most difficult times.

A Gift From Abuela

Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes; however, all opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

#ReadYourWorld Story: A Gift From Abuela by Cecilia Ruiz

The story is set in beautiful Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. Take the opportunity to locate it on a map or globe and practice some basic geography skills (identify neighboring bodies of water, countries, cities, etc.). Explore Magnificent Mexico City slideshow.

The book is written in English, but there are several opportunities to practice Spanish vocabulary. As you read, ask students to use picture and/or word clues for predicting the meaning of Spanish words. Create a vocabulary chart as you read, recording both the English and Spanish word, as well as a small icon for a visual reminder.

abuela  grandmother

niña girl

papel picado cut paper

miscelánea corner shop

carnicería butcher shop

pan dulce sweet bread

pesos money, in Mexico

escuela school

The story shares the strong love between a girl named Niña and her grandmother (abuela). Abuela wants to surprise her young granddaughter with a special gift. She saves her twenty pesos every week in a jar and dreams of doing something nice for Niña one day, like buying her a bicycle or taking her to the ocean for the first time.

As time passes and Abuela gets older, hard times hit Mexico. Prices rise, shops get boarded up, and the government changes the country’s currency. The pesos she had been saving are suddenly worthless. Abuela has to work harder, and she and Niña don’t get to see each other as much.

One day Niña decides to surprise her abuela by “doing something nice” for her: cleaning her house. She discovers the hidden jar of old pesos her grandmother had forgotten about – and no longer had any value. Niña’s idea to make them into something beautiful, papel picado, brings them together once again.

#ReadYourWorld Snack

Pan dulce (sweet bread) is the name for a variety of Mexican pastries. In the story, pan dulce is something Niña and her abuela enjoy together.

Learn how to make pan dulce with this recipe.

pan dulce

Credit: EvelynGiggles, Flickr, Attribution 4.0 International (CC by 4.0)

#ReadYourWorld Craft

Papel picado, Spanish for “cut paper,” is a traditional folk art from Mexico that involves cutting patterns on colorful tissue paper. They are strung together to form banners and are used as decorations throughout the year. In the story, Abuela and Niña make papel picado from the worthless pesos.

papel picado

Make your own papel picado banner! Mami Talks offers free printable templates and step-by-step directions. Or watch this video, and create your own designs!


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTV, Lerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press

SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls

BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Claudia Schwam, Lori DeMonia, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media!

MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media!

MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.

FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

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