The Day Abuelo Got Lost

Written by: Diane de Anda

Illustrated by: Alleanna Harris

For ages: 4-8 years old

Language: English, some Spanish.

Topics Covered: Family, Dementia, Aging, Latinx (Mexican family origin), Social-Emotional Learning, Growing Up, Change.


This is a sweet story about a young boy named Luis and his Abuelo, who has always lived with Luis and his parents.  Usually, Luis and Abuelo spend time together after school, cooking and building models together.  Slowly, Luis realizes that Abuelo starts to forget things and the pair can’t use the stove anymore.  One day, Luis returns home from school and Abuelo isn’t there.  He had gotten lost on a walk, and Luis’s parents found him.

This book addresses in a way that is understandable to children what happens when a grandparent or older family friend ages.  It talks about real feelings that the reader can identify, like Luis.  Things are changing with Abuelo but in small ways that don’t seem to change much on their own, but the sum of the parts mean that Abuelo will spend time with other older adults that can’t remember so well while their families are at work.  What Luis learns is that they will always love each other, and they can still spend time doing things that they love together.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

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DIANE DE ANDA is Professor Emerita in the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research. Her most recent books are entitled Violence: Diverse Populations and Communities and Social Work with Multicultural Youth.

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ALLEANNA HARRIS is a US illustrator who has been drawing for as long as she can remember. As a little kid, she would draw on every page of her mom’s legal pads, doodle on her notebooks at school and on the programs at church.

She graduated from the University of Arts with a BFA in Animation with Honors, and it was during this time she realised her love for illustration. Alleanna finds inspiration in the beauty in everyday things. Everything inspires her. In her work, she seeks to create images that are immersive, rich in color and have a sense of warmth. She lives in NJ.

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