Under a smooth gray rock on the outside windowsill of a home in Chimayo, New Mexico, sits la llave - the key - to the home of Grandpa and Grandma Ortega. The key has always been there for family, friends, and neighbors to use. When Grandma Ortega passes away, some things change and some things stay the same. Grandpa now lives alone, but his life is still filled with loving family and friends and la llave is still resting underneath its rock. Cristina Ortega's latest children's story represents life on a northern New Mexico plaza while highlighting the respect, friendship, trust, commitment, and love found in the community. Spanish phrases within the text and detailed illustrations by Cristina's brother, Luis Armando Ortega, combine to demonstrate to children the importance of these timeless values.
Cristina Ortega has taught elementary school in New Mexico for twenty-seven years. She is also the author of The Eyes of the Weaver (UNM Press). Luis Armando Ortega treasures his northern New Mexico Hispanic heritage, culture, and traditions. His passions include world beat music, teaching, weaving, drawing and painting, storytelling, and traveling.