Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Don’t Call Me Grandma by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Actually, Nell is the great-grandmother of the girl who tells us she is stern, but glamorous. She can be scary. “Once I forgot and called her ‘Grandma.” She yanked my ear, leaned in close, and said, ‘It’s grandMOTHER. My pretty.’ just like the witch in The Wizard of Oz.”

“Great-Grandmother Nell never hugs.” But the pictures show us that the child and the ninety-six year old woman love each other dearly. They share trips to the beach, Nell’s cosmetics, and her memories of all the changes in her lifetime.

As we plan family visits during summer vacation, Don’t Call Me Grandma can remind us to enjoy our relatives as unique individuals who don’t have to fit any stereotype. 

Sharon Dennis Wyeth’s The Granddaughter Necklace is another beautiful picture book about family heritage. It traces a family heirloom back the maternal line to an Irish immigrant who came to America in 1861 and married a free man of color. 

Review by Carolyn Caywood, retired from VBPL 

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