The Day Abuelo Got Lost (Hardcover)

Memory Loss of a Loved Grandfather

By Diane de Anda, Alleanna Harris (Illustrator)

Albert Whitman & Company, 9780807514924, 32pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2019

List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A touching story about a boy and his grandfather who enjoy a special relationship—until Abuelo starts to lose his memory. Instead of building model planes and cooking together, Luis and his father have to search the neighborhood for Abuelo, and Luis and Abuelo have to find new activities to enjoy together.

About the Author

Diane de Anda is a professor emerita in the Department of Social Welfare at UCLA. She is the author of several children’s books, including Mango Moon, The Patchwork Garden, and A Day Without Sugar. She lives in California. Alleanna Harris received a BFA in Animation with Honors from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She has illustrated several children's books, including The Journey of York: The Unsung Hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Her work is inspired by the beauty in everyday things. She lives in New Jersey.

Praise For The Day Abuelo Got Lost: Memory Loss of a Loved Grandfather

"Family love in the face of loss is poignantly shared by de Anda and Harris. Luis, Mama, Papi, their dog, Sancho, and beloved Abuelo are one tight familia. When Luis gets home from school, he spends the afternoons with Abuelo building models, learning to paint, and sharing stories alongside tasty snacks. As time passes, things begin to change. When Abuelo can no longer remember how to fit the models together, he and Luis can still paint side by side. When he forgets to turn off the stove, quesadillas transform into tasty PB&Js instead. But when Abuelo goes missing one day, it is clear things are changing quickly and will never be the same. What afflicts Abuelo is never explicitly identified as the story unfolds, tenderly told in simple first person from Luis' innocent and loving perspective as he slowly confronts new symptoms of his grandfather's progressive dementia. His mother gives Luis sage advice that even though Abuelo’ s memory is slipping he will always feel Luis' love. Though this is certainly a sweet sentiment, many dementia patients experience apathy and changes in personality along with their memory loss, so the truth of Mama's words is somewhat in doubt. This is nevertheless a touching and well-told story of the heartbreak of memory loss through the lens of family-oriented Latino culture. A lovely and needed story of familia in which love conquers loss." — Kirkus Reviews