grandpa used to live alone
Author: Amy Costales
Illustrator: Esperanza Gama
Arte Público 2010
ISBN 10:0-978-1-5585-531-1

Tejas Star Book Award, Finalist 2010/2011

Costales's text in both English and Spanish reflects the child's excitement, with a subtle nostalgic tone that is reinforced by Jerome's melancholic watercolors. A great selection for bilingual storytimes on Mexican Americans.--Kirkus Reviews

Grandpa used to live alone in a quiet pink house. But when his granddaughter was born, everything changed: "Mama and I moved in. Grandpa's house was still pink, but it was not so quiet anymore." And Grandpa's house and garden weren't as orderly either. Sometimes Grandpa had to pick his way through toys strewn across the floor. Other days he watched her pluck rose buds and beans from his plants. And some days his brick patio was decorated with brightly colored chalk. While she was a little girl and her mother went to school late in the evening, Grandpa made rice pudding. She would play with the measuring cups and eat raisins while he prepared their bedtime snack and told her stories. Then he would carry her upstairs to her crib and tuck her in. He would rock in the chair by her crib until she went to sleep. As the years pass, she grew and grew. Grandpa took down her crib and bought her a bed. He taught her how to make rice pudding and play catch. And while she was growing, Grandpa was growing older too. Until all too soon, she was the one making the rice pudding and helping her grandfather up the stairs to bed. Amy Costales' heart-warming text, accompanied by Esperanza Gama's soothing illustrations, lovingly depicts the relationship between a child and a central figure in her life--her grandfather--GoodReads

I wrote Abuelo vivía solo~Grandpa Used to Live Alone for my daughter and for my father, inspired by the lasting love between them. Several years ago my father was recovering from cancer treatment, and he was very weak. One day, when he was still struggling to walk again, I walked by his room and saw my daughter lying in bed next to him, watching him nap. I started to cry and laugh at the same time, remembering when she was the one struggling to walk, holding his big hand. I remembered when he was the one to lay by her crib, soothing her to sleep while I went to college at night. I had always wanted to write a story about the role my father played in my daughter's life, and after years of playing with different ideas, a story was born. My latest picture book is about the love between a fatherless young girl and her grandfather. It's about her slowly growing up as he slowly grows old. This book celebrates grandfathers, especially those that assume the father role, as well.

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