A Gift from Abuela is set in Mexico City and shares culture and a positive message with children.

As a part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019, I’m happy to share A Gift from Abuela by Cecilia Ruiz, published by Candlewick Press. Learn more about MCBD below.

A Gift from Abuela, set in Mexico City, takes a historical event and brings an original perspective to universal themes of love and family. You can purchase A Gift from Abuela on Amazon.

Written in English, the story describes how Abuela and Niña share their days together. They play, make papel picado, and eat pan dulce in the park.

A Gift from Abuela is set in Mexico City and has cultural components to share with children.

The lovely illustrations of landscape, store fronts, streets and vendors create a strong sense of place, and the setting is key to the story. As the years pass, life in Mexico gets harder. Abuela has been saving pesos to buy Niña a special present, but eventually the currency changes and the money she has tucked away becomes worthless.

The idea that money, something integral to the fabric of society, can change will be an eye-opening idea for many young readers. However, what does not change is the love Abuela and Niña have for each other and the time they have spent together. What is most important does indeed last.

The story ends with no great revelation or resolution, rather a return to routine. That is the point, that life goes on and what matters most endures.

After reading the story, be sure to ask kids about the title. What is the gift from Abuela? As you’ll see, the story reaches children. They see that the best gifts are not things.

A Gift from Abuela and Spanish Learners

A Gift from Abuela is in English. However, the setting, culture and message make it a wonderful story to share with Spanish learners. You can also take advantage of the Spanish in the text and illustrations.

In addition, to the names Abuela and Niña, there are several Spanish words in the story and pictures. When you read the words pan dulce and papel picado in the text, have children look for them (the objects) in the illustrations.

Children can also read words on stores and street carts. Play a search game as you read the story and look for these words on signs.

Carnicería – ask what they think this means based on the picture. Relate it to the word carne.
Miscelánea – This is a cognate. Relate it to the word miscellaneous in English.  What would they sell in this store?
Pan dulce – Look for the word on the sign and the picture.
Pesos – Say the numbers of the prices (diez and cien) in Spanish.
Banco de México

Many thanks to Candlewick Press and Cecilia Ruiz for participating in Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019, an annual event to raise awareness about the need for diverse books and put diverse books in the hands of children.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019

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 work with these Medallion 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 work with these Author Sponsors.

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 SchwamLori DeMonia, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to the Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019  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.


Multicultural Books for Teachers: https://wp.me/P5tVud-1H

Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/


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

Spanish Shows for Learning Spanish Naturally
Multicultural Children's Book Day 2019