My Grandma and Me by Mina Javaherbin, illustrated by Lindsey Yankey and published by Walker Books is a beautiful, autobiographical story of a little girl’s memories with her grandmother.
Mina grew up in Iran with her Grandma as her constant companion. Wherever her Grandma went and whatever she was doing Mina was there with her; collecting the bread in the morning, playing make believe, praying together first thing in the morning. Even when Mina was playing with her best friend Annette, her Grandma was there as the girls Grandmas were best friends too.
The tender moments between Mina and her Grandma are captured beautifully by Lindsey Yankey’s illustrations. Subtle colour tones alongside vibrant and intricate patterns that bring the culture of Iran to a picture book audience. The detail is exquisite and so carefully thought out, I particularly like the image of the girls playing hopscotch with the numbers chalked out in Farsi.
Mina and her Grandma are Muslim and it’s wonderful to see different parts of Muslim life throughout the book; going to mosque, fasting during Ramadan and giving charity to others. Rather than specifically mentioning Islam or only having a couple of details that could easily be missed, it is woven intrinsically into the story and offers a definite platform to learn about the religion that is sure to encourage further discussion.
The relationship between grandparent and grandchild is completely unique and the beauty of it is captured in this tender story through stunning illustrations and Mina Javaherbin’s beautiful style of writing: “I have travelled and seen many wonders, but I’ve never loved anything or anyone the way I loved my Grandma.”
An empowering read for children who are Muslim to see so much of their own lives in a mainstream picture book but also an excellent window for all children to see everyone represented.
Buy My Grandma and Me from Wordery with free delivery.
Lindsey Yankey’s illustrations and work can be found on her website lindseyyankey.com.
Many thanks to Walker Books for sending a copy of this book for review.