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Just in case : a trickster tale and Spanish alphabet book
2008
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Author Notes
<p>Born and raised in Mexico, YUYI MORALES has been a radio producer and children's book creator since coming to the United States. Her books have won numerous awards and honors (including the Pura Belpré Award, the Christopher Award, and the James Addams Award). LITTLE NIGHT, a 2008 ALA Notable Children's Book and the Spanish edition, NOCHECITA, were published by Roaring Brook in Spring 2007. Yuyi Morales lives in Northern California.</p>
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  School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Senor Calavera, a dapper skeleton wearing a fedora and striped tie, receives an invitation to Grandma Beetle's birthday party. Zelmiro the Ghost reminds him that he needs to take a present and suggests that "the best present to give a friend is the thing she would love the most." The silent Senor Calavera collects gifts alphabetically, including an accordion (una acordeon) to make music for her, a jaguar to protect her (un jaguar), and 15 more years to add to her life (quince anos). As these thoughtful gifts fill his bicycle basket to overflowing, the shimmering ghost encourages him to keep looking. When the skeleton loses control of his bike on the very hill where Zelmiro was buried, all the beautiful gifts are ruined. Grandma Beetle is blowing out her candles when the Senor finally arrives with the perfect tribute-Grandpa Zelmiro, who is a ghost no longer. Luminous, jewel-tone spreads chronicle the collection of gifts and pay homage to a rich Mexican culture. A comic book (una historieta) cleverly recalls Senor Calavera's first meeting with Grandma Beetle in Just a Minute (Chronicle, 2003). The floating, semitransparent form of Zelmiro the Ghost becomes the solidly human form of Grandpa Zelmiro, who lovingly embraces his wife. Part ghost story and part alphabet book, this trickster tale transcends both. Librarians will want to share it for the beautiful language, the spirited artwork, and the rightness of the ending.-Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
<p>THREE-TIME PURA BELPRÃ% WINNER</p> <p>Yuyi Morales takes us on a new journey with Señor Calvera, the skeleton from Day of the Dead celebrations. Señor Calvera is worried. He can't figure out what to give Grandma Beetle for her birthday. Misunderstanding the advice of Zelmiro the Ghost, Señor Calvera decides not to get her one gift, but instead one gift for every letter of the alphabet, just in case. Una Acordéon: An accordion for her to dance to. Bigotes: A mustache because she has none. Cosquillas: Tickles to make her laugh...only to find out at the end of the alphabet that the best gift of all is seeing her friends. Morales's art glows in this heart-warming original tale with folklore themes, a companion book to her Pura Belpré-winning JUST A MINUTE. Just In Case is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year, the winner of the 2009 Pura Belpre Medal for Illustration and a Pura Belpre Honor Book for Narrative.<br> Latino Interest. In English with Spanish vocabulary.</p>
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