Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Review: My Grandma and Me, by Mina Javaherbin and Lindsey Yankey


In this big universe full of many moons, I have traveled and seen many wonders, but I have never loved anything or anyone the way I love my grandma.

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.

Readers are introduced to parts of a culture and experiences that may not be their own - from rising at dawn for prayers to buying bread from a boy with a towering stack on his bicycle - while hopefully recognizing the love and patience they also have felt from a loved one. Mina's best friend is the granddaughter of her grandmother's best friend, despite differing religious beliefs that are alluded to matter-of-factly. The subtle examples of differences creating strong memories rather than separation, and of belief systems used for love and connection rather than as weapons, are certainly timely and welcome.

Yankey's illustrations have an old-fashioned feel that lends itself well to the theme of grandmothers and memory, while the bright colors and patterns will still draw children in. 

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