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Reviews from
CCBC - Cooperative Children’s Book Center
   < View all CCBC reviews
Yuyi Morales, author and illustrator,
Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book.
Chronicle Books, 2003.

When Grandma Beetle answers the knock at the door, she finds Señor Galavera has come to take her with him. “What a skinny gentleman!” she thinks. Grandma's understatement is obvious - Señor Galavera is a skeleton.

If his arrival seems faintly ominous, readers and listeners quickly realize that Grandma Beetle has no intention of going anywhere. She puts Senor Galavera off with a litany of tasks she must complete - one house to sweep, two pots of tea to make, three pounds of corn to make into tortillas, and so on.

As Grandma completes each task, Señor Galavera counts it off in both English and Spanish. Although he's a gentleman, Señor Galavera's patience begins to grow thin about the time Grandma's filling seven piñatas. But by the time she gets to the number ten, the tables have turned completely. How can Señor Galavera possibly take Grandma with him after he's been a guest at her birthday party?

Yuyi Morales's original trickster tale highlights numerous Mexican cultural traditions. The vibrant acrylic and mixed-media illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to the lively and humorous story.

Megan Schliesman
December 2003

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