Just a Minute

  • Title: Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book
  • Author: Yuyi Morales
  • Illustrator: Yuyi Morales
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • Publication year: 2003
  • Brief Summary: From Chronicle Books-“In this original trickster tale, Senor Calavera arrives unexpectedly at Grandma Beetle’s door. He requests that she leave with him right away. “Just a minute,” Grandma Beetle tells him. She still has one house to sweep, two pots of tea to boil, three pounds of corn to make into tortillas — and that’s just the start! Using both Spanish and English words to tally the party preparations, Grandma Beetle cleverly delays her trip and spends her birthday with a table full of grandchildren and her surprise guest. This spirited tribute to the rich traditions of Mexican culture is the perfect introduction to counting in both English and Spanish.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –I think this book would be perfect for teaching young children how to count up to 10 in Spanish as they learning this in English. Not only that but this is a folk tale from another culture that can be taught as children are learning about “traditional” European fairy tales.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –Morales’s vibrant illustrations are whimsical and colorful and each page keeps the reader engaged. And she has rendered Senor Calavera in a way that children can see the humor in the situation, and not be frightened by him.

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