abuelosThe tradition of los abuelos comes from northern New Mexico. In the cold months of midwinter, village men disappear to disguise themselves as scary old men and then descend on the children, teasing them and asking if they’ve been good. The abuelos encourage the little ones to dance and sing around huge bonfires. Afterwards, everyone enjoys cookies and empanadas. In this charming book, young Ray and Amelia move to a new village and experience the fright and fun of los abuelos for the first time. Amelia Lau Carling researched the region for her vibrant artwork, and author Pat Mora’s lively text captures the appeal of an old-world celebration now being revived.

2 thoughts on “Abuelos

  1. Adela Sanchez Martinez Cardenas says:

    As a a small child growing up in Cebolla, New Mexico during the early 1940’s I well remember “los Abuelos” during Christmas Eve in our tiny village. I remember the huge bonfires that the elders would burn throughout the evening and night. I remember “los abuelos” coming to our house, getting up the bigger children, making them sing and pray, and asking them if they had been good. After, they were treated to coffee, chocolate, biscoccitos (traditional cookies) and empanadas by our mother. Our father was probably one of those abuelos, going from house to house keeping up this tradition. A tradition that had been going on since the early spanish settlements of northern New Mexico.

  2. Darby says:

    In Abuelos, the well-known Latina author, Pat Mora, shares an old New Mexican tradition called “los abuelos” through the eyes of Amelia, a young girl, and her older brother, Raymond. According to the tradition, village men dress up as scary old men who live in the mountains and go down to the village to make sure children have been behaving themselves. There is dancing, singing, and some screaming! Through a mix of child-like fears and silliness, Mora makes sure to highlight the themes of family and community throughout. The night “los abuelos” come culminates in a large celebration in which many multi-generational families partake. The story allows readers to learn about a specific cultural tradition while also glimpsing into the life of a young girl growing up in a village in New Mexico.

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