Friday, November 6, 2015

Don't Call Me Grandma - a bookwrap

Well not quite the Grandma showcased in today's book...but very well could be.

Unwrapping some quotes about Great Grandmas...

Unwrapping today's book...

Authored by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

Have a peek at these stunning illustration...

The illustrations are big and bold and vibrant.  They take you right into the narrative and are full of detail and emotion.  I was very, very impressed with them.  

My review...

Great Grandmother Nell does not have the traditional grandmother's breakfast of porridge or scrambled eggs.  No, Grandmother Nell fries fish and boils grits for her breakfast.  She is 96 years old, feisty and doesn't like to hug or kiss and certainly does NOT want to be called grandma.  Her great-granddaughter thinks she is scary at times and at other times doesn't know what to make of her.  

Grandmother dons her bathing suit and while at the beach she poses like a movie star.  She has a little nip of something that looks like apple juice every day but it tastes like could she possibility drink that stuff?  Yew!!!  She says she drinks it daily because it's her heart medicine, you see her heart inside is broken. 

Her bedroom is like a princesses.  A beautiful ballerina doll sits in the middle of her bed and her vanity is covered with perfumes, nail polish, jewellery, lipsticks and wigs.  Her great-granddaughter can only look with her eyes when permitted inside and never ever  touch anything.

Great Grandmother Nell loves to sit and reminisce about days gone by:  how long ago 14 cents got you into a double feature movie, a Hershey bar cost 5 cents and how she won first prize at the church picnic with her fabulous sour cherry pie. Some sad memories too she shares, for example how her very best friend said they couldn't be friends anymore because of her brown skin.

Although great grand-daughter finds Great Grandmother Nell aloof and unemotional she loves to sneak into her room when she is sound asleep, and snoring like a dragon, and give her a quick hug and kiss her on the cheek.  

A perfect book to teach about family and the honoured position an elder family member should have in it.  It's about respect and friendship too.  I love the book and highly recommend it.  The illustrations are truly magnificent.

About the author...

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson loves bringing books and children together and feels lucky to have two careers that foster this. The children's librarian and author says, "It was destined from the day I was born. My mother found my name in a novel she was reading."

Vaunda's first book, Always Gramma, was selected by the Children's Book Council as a Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. Mayfield Crossing won the Georgia Children's Book in 1995, and Beyond Mayfield received a 1999 Parents' Choice Gold Award. Almost to Freedom, her most recent title, received a Coretta Scott King Honor for illustration in 2004. In addition, Vaunda's poetry has been published in Cricket and Cicada magazines.

Vaunda has been a teacher, newspaper reporter, bookseller, school librarian, and twice a member of the Newbery Award Committee. She holds master's degrees from The Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, Vermont, and from the University of Pittsburgh School of Library and Information Science. Her memberships include the SCBWI, the American Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children. The Pennsylvania native is currently the young adult librarian at a public library in New Mexico, where she lives with her husband, Drew, and two cats. 

About the illustrator...

I grew up in a hot, sunny, tropical country in West Africa called the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire), where people speak French (and many other languages). My Mom read my little brother and me a lot of bedtime stories in English after we came home from speaking French all day at school. 
As a little girl, I loved to draw, paint, make up dances and play dress-up, and as I grew up, I didn't really change! After returning to the United States, I attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and graduated in June 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration.
I now live in Albany, NY where I am primarily a painter/illustrator/artist's book-maker, but also dabble in jewelry-making, handbag-making,and pondering the endless possibilities of chocolate. My work is largely influenced by the people, places, and things from my childhood in the Ivory Coast the product of two cultures.

Read on and read always!

It's a wrap.

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