Abuelita and I Make Flan

by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom (Author) Adriana Hernández Bergstrom (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Anita loves to bake with her abuela, especially when they are using her grandmother's special recipes for Cuban desserts like flan!

Anita is making flan for Abuelo's birthday, but when she accidentally breaks Abuelita's treasured flan serving plate from Cuba, she struggles with what to do. Anita knows it's right to tell the truth, but what if Abuelita gets upset? Worried that she has already ruined the day, Anita tries to be the best helper. After cooking the flan, they need a serving dish! Anita comes up with a wonderful solution.

Complete with a glossary of Spanish terms and a traditional recipe for flan, Abuelita and I Make Flan is a delicious celebration of food, culture, and family.

Select format:

Kirkus Reviews

A tale as sweet as flan.

School Library Journal

Anita helps Abuelita make a special flan for Abuelo's birthday in this lovely picture book filled with family and love. Anita is Abuelita's special helper, and as they prepare to make flan, Anita grabs the special glass plate that it will go on, but it falls to the ground and shatters. While they make the flan, the grandmother shares special stories and remembers her time in Cuba. The flan is almost done, and Anita must confess the plate is broken--but Abuelita knows just what to say. Sweet, expressive illustrations welcome young readers to join Anita and her family in their cozy home full of love and memories. The concise text sprinkled with Spanish words perfectly conveys Anita's thoughts and feelings, and the conversations between family members are full of love and support. A recipe for cheese flan, page of translations, and photos of the author's family accompany the text.

VERDICT A warm celebration of family and traditions, this title is a wonderful addition to picture book collections for children. Selenia Paz

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal LLC. Used with permission.

Review quotes

Making dessert with Abuelita keeps a family tradition alive.

Anita can't wait to make flan with her grandmother for the first time as a special treat for her abuelo's birthday. Abuelita has arthritis, so she needs Anita's help in the kitchen. She's so excited to get started that she drops the very special plate that Abuelita always uses for the flan. Worried, Anita tries to keep the broken plate a secret as she and Abuelita begin making the treat. While they're cooking together, Abuelita shares stories of other flan recipes in the family and the people who made them special. Anita finally comes clean about the plate and is surprised when, instead of being mad, Abuelita reminds her that people are more important than things and that Abuelo will love the flan because it was made with love—even if it's served on a different plate. Written in a mix of English and Spanish, the story emphasizes the importance of family customs and the connections between generations. Expressive illustrations create a sense of emotion throughout. Anita's grandparents are from Cuba and have light brown skin; Anita has lighter skin and dark brown hair.

A tale as sweet as flan.

—Kirkus Reviews 

Adriana Hernández Bergstrom
Adriana Hernández Bergstrom is a Cuban American mixed-media illustrator who loves creating charming characters, cheerful paintings, and sweet imagery for kids and kids at heart. She studied industrial design at Rhode Island School of Design and printmaking and theater production at the University of Miami. Adriana loves literacy and languages and speaks English, Spanish, and German. Her debut picture book as author-illustrator, Abuelita and I Make Flan, will be published by Charlesbridge in 2022.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Charlesbridge Publishing
Publication date
August 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV013030 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
JUV050000 - Juvenile Fiction | Cooking & Food
JUV011030 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Hispanic & Latino
Library of Congress categories
Grandparent and child
Cuban Americans

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!