Bedtime Book Review: Just a Minute by Yuyi Morales

Book Excerpt from Just a MinuteI love the folk art associated with the Mexican Day of the Dead Holiday. So I was thrilled when I found a children’s book that is the perfect example of this folk art style so I could share it with my kids.

Just a Minuteby Mexican artist, Yuyi Morales has become a huge favorite with my kids. This book gets read many times in October and throughout the year. I love it because the illustrations are so beautiful, colorful, and remind me of my childhood when I lived in Mexico for four years. I also love it because it is a good story and helps me teach my kids how to count in Spanish. My kids love the story because it is funny. My daughter can’t stop laughing when she sees the picture of Señor Calavera, the skeleton, wearing an apron or stomping up and down in frustration. Just a Minute Book

OK, that sounds weird, so what is the story about? When skeletal Señor Calavera appears at the door, Grandma Beetle is preparing for a party. He wants her to come with him but she asks him to wait. As she prepares for a festive birthday party at which Señor Calavera finds himself a guest, kids will learn to count in English and Spanish. As Grandma Beetle keeps coming up with things to do to delay leaving with Señor Calavera, the expression on his sugar-skull face grows more and more hilariously impatient — but by party’s end, he leaves a thank-you note in his wake promising to be back for Grandma Beetle’s next birthday. While adults will understand that she tricked death, kids will be laughing at the illustrations, yelling out “Just a Minute, Señor Calavera”, and learning to count in Spanish.

This is a great story that is a tribute to Mexican traditions and family. They are definitely having a Chocolate Cake Moment at this birthday party! The book is also a nice alternative to traditional Halloween books, that still let you enjoy the spirit of spooky fun.

If you like this book, check out this site where Yuyi Morales talks about what Day of the Dead means to her. There are also coloring pages of Señor Calavera for your kids. She has a new book coming out, Just in Case, featuring Señor Calavera that you can pre-order at Amazon.

Let us know whether your kids liked the book.

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Tags: Reading with the Kids

4 Comments - Leave a comment

  1. This is perfect!!! My kids have been into this book written in Mexican Spanish (not castilian) and I wanted to give them a little background on the culture. This is perfect. Thanks.

    The kids are cute, they love this book called “Tim and Kim” by Kay Linda Nord. It has both english and spanish on the same page which makes it pretty cool. The kids really get it and try to use spanish they have learned…so I am trying to stay with the momentum.

    I found the book on Amazon, but I just looked and found the authors site:

    Thanks again for the great find!


  2. Thank you for recommending this book. I’m going to check it out with my kids.



  3. My kids love bedtime stories. Actually, we have 5 of them, so that’s a lot of reading. LOL! So we started a new ritual. Bedtime audiobooks. There’s lots of sites to download them, but we use one site in particular because the stories are all original and free. Here’s the link, if anyone is interested.

    duncan faber

  4. […] 4. Just a Minute, A Trickster Tale by Yuyi Morales. Technically this is more of a Day of the Dead book, but the graphics and theme fit right in with Halloween fun. If you want to learn more about this cool book, read my full review. […]

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