Six Real (and Diverse) Grandmas
Kleyman, Paul, Aging Today
Six real-life grandmas-Maxine, Lai Goon, Francisca, Lois, Susan and Esther-each respond to the question "What was it like, Grandma?" The half-- dozen books in the Grandma Remembers series (Brookfield, Conn.: The Millbrook Press, 2002) tell the story of American Indian, Chinese, Hispanic, African American, British-American and Jewish cultural experiences in the United States to each grandmother's real-life grandchild. These fine and fun documentary picture books include recipes for traditional treats and easy-to-learn crafts.
Earlier this year the books' septuagenarian author, Ann Morris, who has written more than too volumes for and about children, told Newsday, "Grandmothers are the main purveyors of culture." She and artist Peter Linenthal, whose photographs and drawings illustrate the series, drove across the country to create the books.
Intended for elementary-school-age children, each book depicts the contemporary life and heritage of a child through his or her relationship with grandma. Each also includes photos of and information about every youngster's family to convey a realistic narrative tracing how the child came to be born into his or her particular life-from a Hispanic household in San Francisco's Mission District to an African American neighborhood of Queens, New York.
In Grandma Maxine Remembers: A Native American Family Story, for example, eight-year-old Shawnee, whose family belongs to the Shoshone tribe, is shown living on Wyoming's Wind River Reservation with her mother, a brother, two sisters, four dogs and a cat. …