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TIO ARMANDO by Florence Parry Heide


by Florence Parry Heide & Roxanne Heide Pierce & illustrated by Ann Grifalconi

Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-688-12107-1

A graceful chronicle of the last year in a beloved great-uncle’s life, relayed month by month in the first-person narration of a Mexican-American girl. Tio Armando moves in with Lucitita’s family after the death of his wife, Amalia. A connection is drawn between the elderly man and Lucitita and the year is filled with thoughtful exchanges between the two as she puzzles out his serene reaction to losing his wife. Readers begin to sense that Tio Armando is preparing Lucitita for his own passing. “I will never leave you,” he promises, and she realizes, after his death, that she understands. The lengthy prose is unusually well-crafted, quiet and subdued yet filled with authentic details of life in this household. Tio Armando is a unique person, visiting strangers in the hospital and spreading kindness wherever he goes. Grifalconi’s gentle watercolors group people together in intimate moments and in larger groups that convey familial bonds. (Picture book. 5-8)