Illustrator Eric Velasquez, the son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, was born in Spanish Harlem and grew up in Harlem. His dual heritage coupled with the experience of living in dual cultures in New York City gives Eric a rich and unique cultural perspective.
This prequel to Eric Velasquez's biographical picture book Grandma's Records is the story of a Christmas holiday that young Eric spends with his grandmother. After they prepare their traditional Puerto Rican celebration, Eric and Grandma visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a school project, where he sees a painting by Diego Velasquez and realizes for the first time that he could be an artist when he grows up. Grandma witnesses his fascination, and presents Eric with the perfect Christmas gift?a sketchbook and colored pencils?to use in his first steps toward becoming an artist. A heartwarming story of self-discovery, Grandma's Gift is a celebration of the special bond between a grandparent and grandchild.
Age Range: 5 - 8 years / Grade Level: Kindergarten and up