From Librarian’s Quest: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like… 2019
On this first Tuesday of December many people around the world are making preparations to celebrate holidays during this month. These holidays have deep historical roots based upon religious beliefs and traditional customs observed for generations. The challenges more people than we can imagine face during these plans and festivities differ in degrees of difficulty.
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like . . . 2019
One of the greatest hardships is to have those we love separated from us not by their passing, geographical boundaries, or unforeseen circumstances but by walls built by the hands of humans. Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border (Farrar Straus Giroux, September 10, 2019) written by Mitali Perkins with illustrations by Sara Palacios is a tale of ingenuity; this cleverness a result of what children do best. They are keen observers. They hope.
Abuela stars in all of Mama’s stories, but my only memory is a voice calling me “angelita.“
Five years have passed since this little girl heard her grandmother’s affectionate word for her. Today Maria and her younger brother Juan are traveling to the border separating Mexico from the United States with their mother. It is La Posada Sin Fronteras.
Mama is knitting the finishing touches on a scarf Maria has made for her grandmother to wear home. Juan carries a picture he drew on cardboard for his grandmother. It is of Mary and Joseph unable to find room in the inn.
When the bus carrying friends and family members arrives at the border two large fences, with a space in-between them, stretch into the ocean. A limited number of people for a limited amount of time are allowed by border patrol officers to pass through the gate of the first fence to find their loved ones who have arrived from Mexico.
When the time arrives for Maria, Juan and their mother to meet Abuela, they are excited to see her and share words of news and affection in person. A priest reads the story of Christmas and leads those present in carols. When their time is up, Maria tries to push the scarf through the small holes in the fence. A guard forbids it, returning the scarf to her.
Outside the gate Juan bursts into tears realizing he did not give his picture to Abuela. Looking at the area around her and watching several seagulls gives Maria an idea. Wind and suggestions of encouragement assist her endeavors. Love soars.