The Yellow Handkerchief (El pañuelo amarillo): A Picture Book (Hardcover)

The Yellow Handkerchief (El pañuelo amarillo): A Picture Book By Donna Barba Higuera, Cynthia Alonso (Illustrator) Cover Image
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A child confronts conflicting feelings of embarrassment and love for her Mexican abuela in this moving, personal story from Newbery- and Pura Belpré Award–winning author Donna Barba Higuera

My abuela wears an old yellow handkerchief that her grandmother gave to her.
I don’t like the yellow handkerchief.

When a young girl feels ashamed of her family for being “different” and subconsciously blames her abuela, she gradually grows to not only accept but also love the yellow handkerchief that represents a language and culture that once brought embarrassment.

Inspired by the personal experiences of award-winning author Donna Barba Higuera and expressively illustrated by Cynthia Alonso, The Yellow Handkerchief is a lyrical, honest, and intimate intergenerational story about embracing who we are, where we come from, and the people who shape us.

About the Author

Donna Barba Higuera grew up dodging dust devils in the oil fields of central California. She was a daydreamer, constantly blending life experiences and folklore into stories. Now she weaves them into picture books and novels. Higuera currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, four children, three dogs, and two frogs. El Cucuy Is Scared, Too! was her debut picture book, and she is also the author of the middle-grade novels The Last Cuentista, winner of the Newbery Medal and Pura Belpré Award, and Lupe Wong Won’t Dance, winner of a Pura Belpré Honor, the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.

Praise For…

"Spanish words are woven gracefully throughout...Inspired by Newbery medalist Higuera’s own childhood memories, this marvelous and moving picture book is an affecting tribute to the ties that bind." 
— Booklist


Higuera’s tight, insightful text, and Alonso’s playful digital illustrations—threaded with pink and purple—lighten an intensely personal-feeling exploration of shame and pride.
— Publishers Weekly


Alonso’s saturated, textured artwork brims with emotion. Her dynamic illustrations paired with evocative, purposeful prose convey the nuance of identity and young people’s often complicated feelings about their families and cultural backgrounds.
— Kirkus

Product Details
ISBN: 9781419760143
ISBN-10: 1419760149
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 21st, 2023
Pages: 40
Language: English