Archive for September 25, 2019

My Grandma and Me

Written by Mina Javaherbin
Illustrated by Lindsey Yankey

In a sweet and quiet story, the author takes a look at her strong relationship with her grandmother. As a child, she did everything with her grandmother. She helped clean and cook. She helped buy bread by lowering the bread basket from their apartment. She visited her friend Annette and her grandmother. They spent many happy hours together. She would use Grandma’s chadon in play. For Ramadan, she got up early to eat with her grandmother, even though she was too young to fast during the day. And she ate with Grandma after sunset. She prayed with Grandma for their friends to go to heaven.

Illustrations are often subdued, but are a beautiful addition to the story, borrowing motifs from Iranian culture. They help make this a wonderful quiet-time and bedtime story, best read with another family member.

  • Grandma and MeTitle: My Grandma and Me
  • Author: Mina Javaherbin
  • Illustrator: Lindsey Yankey
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2019
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: PreK to 3
  • Genre: Family, Culture
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-9494-4

Pick a Pumpkin

Written by Patricia Toht
Illustrated by Jarvis

Each year brings exciting new ways to honor children’s favorite holidays. This year is no exception. A new rhyming take on the activities of Halloween with kid-friendly, detailed illustrations, Pick a Pumpkin fits the bill. Starting in the pumpkin patch, observers must pick their favorite size, color, and shape.

Vivid orange,
ghostly white,
or speckled green
might be just right.

After a cursory clean up, it’s time to cut the top and clean out the insides. Next comes the face carving, followed by the addition of light.

Its fiery grin
will blaze and snicker,
to guard your house
while you have fun.

And it’s time to celebrate.

The author does such a great job of making the reader anticipate the next step, while the illustrator makes you want to linger over the wonderful scenes. Traditional costumes and images are mentioned and seen throughout.

  • Pick a PumpkinTitle: Pick a Pumpkin
  • Author: Patricia Toht
  • Illustrator: Bagram Ibatoullin
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2019
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Picture book, 40 pages
  • Grade Level: PreK to 2
  • Genre: Holiday, Fun
  • ISBN: 978-1-5362-0764-4