Welcome to Freedom Reads: Anti-Bias Book Talk from Teaching for Change. In this video series, we introduce children’s books using an anti-bias, anti-racist lens as a strategy to talk about issues around race and the world with children. (View other episodes on the series home page and our YouTube playlist.)
The book featured in the video below is Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book, written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales. Published in 2003, this book is recommended for elementary and early childhood, including babies and toddlers! In Just a Minute, Grandma Beetle receives an unexpected visit from Señor Calavera, a personified version of the sugar skulls and skeletons that adorn the alters for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations in contemporary Mexico and among those of Mexican cultural heritage.
It is time, Señor Calavera says, for Grandma Beetle to come with him. “Just a minute!” Grandma Beetle says, repeating task after task, until Señor Calavera has unwittingly helped finish the preparations for Grandma Beetle’s birthday party with her grandchildren.
This spin on a traditional trickster tale by Yuyi Morales is a fun and witty journey counting in English and Spanish.
Four Key Takeaways From Just a Minute:
- Trickster tale (a universal form of storytelling)
- Representation of deep culture
- Portrayal of grandparents/elders
- Indigenous and Afro-Latinx representation
- Just a Minute Book Review from De Colores
- Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books
- Yuyi Morales’ website
- “Could You Trick Señor Calavera?” Quiz
- “Who is Señor Calavera” video by Yuyi Morales
- “Invited” (with Señor Calavera) video by Yuyi Morales