Sunday, July 3, 2022

Review: Something About Grandma

A young girl in blue with blue glasses is holding hands with and staring into the eyes of a grandma with white hair. Grandma is also wearing glasses that match her pink clothing. There are flowers around them and some flowers in their hands. There is a house in the background.
Title: Something About Grandma

Author and Illustrator: Tania de Regil

Publisher: Candlewick

Availability: August 9, 2022

Review copy: Final copy via publisher

Summary: At Grandma’s house, where Julia is staying without her parents for the first time, the breeze is sweet like jasmine. Mornings begin with sugared bread, and the most magnificent hot chocolate cures all homesickness. There’s something about this place . . . and about Grandma. Like how she can tell when Julia has been quietly picking limes from the garden. Or that she can see the future—and knows when Julia is about to fall off her bike. Or how she can journey back in time through the stories she tells. In the room where Julia’s mother grew up, her grandmother holds her in a warm embrace—an embrace that Julia will pass on to her family when her parents arrive with her new baby brother. With Tania de Regil’s heartfelt illustrations, incorporating poems by her great-grandfather that were handwritten by her grandmother, Something About Grandma offers a tender and playful exploration of the magic of intergenerational love and wisdom.

My Thoughts: This book is like a big warm hug. We see Grandma's home through Julia's eyes as she discovers the interesting things about it like getting bread from a woman who brings it to the house in a basket one her head. We see the happy moments and a few that aren't so happy. When Julia is missing her family, Grandma is there to offer comfort. 

The illustrations really support the story as we see Grandma cuddling with Julia, but also, when the text says that she time travels, there are images of her mom and dad when they are younger so readers can know that the book didn't just flip to science fiction. And there is a continuity in the colors. The characters are always wearing the same clothes no matter the day Grandma in a pinkish outfit and the rest of the family are wearing clothes that are a deep blue. There are other colors on the pages, but those colors are throughout from the very beginning. The leaves on the title page are blueish and the background is a peachy pink. 

The art is mostly in watercolor, but there is also collage scattered. Much of the collage is cursive writing in Spanish and it is slipped in here and there. This made sense because Grandma wrote in a notebook each night and Julia receives a letter from her family. 

There is love seeping all over the pages in the way that Julia and her grandma interact and I just didn't want it to end.

Recommendation: This is a lovely book and would be great for any library serving young people and would be wonderful to have in any home. I know that many times I had students asking for books about new babies so this would definitely address that need, but it is also simply a lovely story for anyone. It is also available in Spanish. 

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