Grandma’s Chocolate / El chocolate de Abuelita


by Mara Price
Illustrated by Lisa Fields
Spanish translation by Gabriela Baeza Ventura

ISBN: 978-1-55885-587-8
Publication Date: November 30, 2010        
Pages: 32
Imprint: Piñata Books
Trim Size: 8 ½ x 11
Bind: Hardcover
Ages: 4-8

This bilingual picture book for kids depicts a loving relationship between a young girl and her grandmother.

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Abuela’s visits from Mexico are always full of excitement for young Sabrina. She can’t wait to see what’s in her grandmother’s yellow suitcase covered in stickers from all the places she has visited. Opening it is like opening a treasure chest, and this year is no different. Inside are a host of riches: colorful ribbons, a clay whistle shaped like a bird, a drum, and the strong smell of chocolate.

“Abuelita, do you want to play a game? Let’s pretend that I’m a princess,” Sabrina says.  “Okay, Sabrina,” Abuela says, “but a Mayan princess should wear a beautiful dress called a huipil.” And she pulls the traditional garment worn by Mayan and Aztec women from her suitcase.

Sabrina has lots of questions about her ancestors. Did Mayan princesses have money? Did they go to school? Did they eat chocolate ice cream? With her grandmother’s help, Sabrina learns all about the cacao tree, which was first cultivated by Mexico’s indigenous tribes. Today, seeds from the cacao tree give us chocolate, but years ago the seeds were so valuable they were used as money. And Moctezuma, the Aztec emperor, liked to eat chocolate poured over bowls of snow brought from the mountains!

Sabrina discovers that “chocolate is perfect for a Mayan princess.” And children ages 4-8 are sure to agree as they curl up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and this charming bilingual picture book that depicts a loving relationship between grandmother and granddaughter and shares the history and customs of the native peoples of Mexico.


Named to the 2011-2012 Tejas Star Reading List; First Place Winner, 2011 International Latino Book Award for Best Bilingual Children’s Picture Book; Honor Book, 2011 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People; Picture Book Winner, 2011 San Diego Book Awards

“Children will enjoy reading about their own customs or learning about new ones, such as making hot chocolate.”—School Library Journal

“There’s no shortage of princess books on the shelves, but few, if any, like this …[with] the influence of cultural roots and the strength of inter-generational bonds.”—Publishers Weekly

“A gentle, well-translated bilingual text infused with a wise and loving family elder’s teaching is accompanied by earthy, gouache paintings…A sweet and loving way to introduce history through family connections.”—Kirkus Reviews

MARA PRICE is a native of Mexico and now lives in Southern California. A member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, her work has been published in Iguana, a Spanish-language children’s magazine. This is her first published book.

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LISA FIELDS is the illustrator of The Triple Banana Split Boy / El niño goloso (Piñata Books, 2009). She received her BFA in illustration from the Ringling School of Art and Design and attended the Illustration Academy. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, she lives in her hometown of Katonah, New York.

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GABRIELA BAEZA VENTURA is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of Houston. She has translated numerous children’s books, including Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia (Arte Público Press, 2014), There’s a Name for this Feeling: Stories / Hay un nombre para lo que siento: Cuentos (2014), Adelita and the Veggie Cousins / Adelita y las primas verduritas (2011) and Remembering Grandma / Recordando a Abuela (2003).

Learn more by visiting her faculty page.

AR Quiz #138366 | ATOS English: 3.7| ATOS Spanish: 3.5 | ATOS IL: LG