Grandparents, Read Your World

My Grandma and Me by Mina Javaherbin

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Back of Book:
While Mina is growing up in Iran, the center of her world is her grandmother. Whether visiting friends next door, going to the mosque for midnight prayers during Ramadan, or taking an imaginary trip around the planets, Mina and her grandma are never far apart. At once deeply personal and utterly universal, Mina Javaherbin’s words make up a love letter of the rarest sort: the kind that shares a bit of its warmth with every reader. Soft, colorful, and full of intricate patterns, Lindsey Yankey’s illustrations feel like a personal invitation into the coziest home, and the adoration between Mina and her grandma is evident on every page.
My Review:
I was so excited to get the opportunity to hear Mina read her fantastic book this weekend. I completely fell in love with this story and illustrations.
This book beautifully showcases the strong relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter.  The whimsical text allows readers a glimpse into a world rich with culture and identity.
Mina shares her fondest memories of praying, eating, and learning lessons with her beloved grandmother. The story shows readers the value of respecting and listening to a wiser generation. It also allows readers to draw parallels between their own life, and that of Mina.    The illustrations by Lindsey Yankey are gorgeous! The soft muted colors enhance the story and allow readers to feel like they are there. There are short notes from the author and illustrator about the connection that they still feel to their grandmothers. A must-have for classroom and elementary libraries.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Food, Grandparents, Read Your World

Grandpa Cacao: A Tale of Chocolate, from Farm to Family By Elizabeth Zunon

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Back of Book:
Chocolate is the perfect treat, everywhere!
As a little girl and her father bake her birthday cake together, Daddy tells the story of her Grandpa Cacao, a farmer from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. In a land where elephants roam and the air is hot and damp, Grandpa Cacao worked in his village to harvest cacao, the most important ingredient in chocolate. “Chocolate is a gift to you from Grandpa Cacao,” Daddy says. “We can only enjoy chocolate treats thanks to farmers like him.” Once the cake is baked, it’s ready to eat, but this isn’t her only birthday present. There’s a special surprise waiting at the front door
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Bloomsbury Press in exchange for an honest review.
Although, I am a huge fan of all things chocolate I have never studied the process of how chocolate is made.
Grandpa Cacao is an informational story that opens readers eyes to the work and dedication of chocolate farmers in the Ivory Coast. The story follows a little girl and her father as they make a chocolate cake for her birthday. As they bake the father tells his daughter all about Grandpa Cacao and his work in the fields. The text beautifully blends the past and the present in a way that flows seamlessly. It ties in the importance of family, culture, and tradition. The illustrations are stunning and full of color and life. I was awed by the details in each picture. , The back of the book has more information about fair trade the science behind chocolate as well as a chocolate cake recipe.
This book is a true experience in a world that is fairly unknown. I learned so much about the chocolate making process and am now more committed to locating items that are certified as fair trade.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Gardens and plants, Grandparents, spring

When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan

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Back of Book:
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised (and disappointed) to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator’s careful—and funny—instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Sterling Press in exchange for an honest review.
I was thrilled to read such a touching and beautiful story from debut author Jamie L. B. Deeniham. The story follows a little girl who receives a unique gift of a lemon tree from her grandma. Instead of being disappointed, the girl turns lemons into lemonade and finds a way to bring her neighborhood together. This story ties in so many messages including respect for elders, hard work, patience, and placing others before yourself. I loved how the end of the story shows the young girl buying something that everyone can enjoy. The text is written in a second person narrative which keeps readers engaged throughout the story. The illustrations by Lorraine Rocha are whimsical and warm. The details within the pages are amazing and include a diverse group of children playing and learning together. The special note from the author about the cancer ribbons in the pages especially touched my heart. My favorite illustration is the one with all the children placing their toys and gadgets down to work in the garden.
This is a beautiful story that is perfect for any garden or spring unit.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Grandparents

A Gift from Abuela by Cecilia Ruiz

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Back of Book:

The first time Abuela holds Nina, her heart overflows with tenderness. And as Nina grows up, she and Abuela spend plenty of time together. Abuela can’t help thinking how much she’d like to give Nina a very special treat, so she saves a little bit of her money every week — a few pesos here, a few pesos there. When the world turns upside down, Abuela’s dream of a surprise for Nina seems impossible. Luckily, time spent together — and the love Abuela and Nina have for each other — could turn out to be the very best gift of all. With a soft and subtle hand, author-illustrator Cecilia Ruiz draws from her own history to share a deeply personal tale about remembering what’s most important when life starts to get in the way
My Review:
I was sent this touching story by author Cecillia Ruiz in exchange for an honest review. I love this tenderhearted story about a grandmother’s love for her granddaughter. I love that this book is filled with the traditions and culture of Mexico. It shows readers the importance of respecting elders and spending quality time with them. The text is sprinkled with Spanish words, which shows readers the beauty of the Spanish language. The ending is sweet and satisfying. The illustrations are beautiful drawings that have soft colors. This is a wonderful multicultural story and should be apart of all classroom libraries.
Ages 5 and up
38 Pages

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Grandparents

The Bee Tree By Patricia Polacco

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Back of Book: When Mary Ellen gets bored with her reading, Grandpa knows a hunt for a bee tree is just what she needs. Half the town joins the exciting chase, but it’s not until everyone returns home that Mary Ellen makes a discovery of her own: Sometimes, even the sweetest of things must be worked for!

My Review:  This story is different from many books I have read. The story is about a little girl and her grandfather chasing a bee to get to the honey. As they continue on their hunt more and more people join. This creates an exciting community event that everyone in the village can enjoy and participate in.  The end of the story has a very important message about knowledge and education that the grandfather shares with Mary Ellen. Patricia Polacco always manages to intertwine the beauty of tradition with a fun and entertaining story.

Ages 8 and up

32 Pages