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|Don't call me Grandma|
Author: Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux
A granddaughter recounts the reasons why her grandmother is hard to love--and why she loves her anyway.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.60
Points: .5 Quiz: 180619
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 3.40
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 69049
Kirkus Reviews (12/01/15)
School Library Journal (02/01/16)
The Hornbook (00/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2016 It’s easy (and not uncommon) to write books about fun grandmothers who bake cookies or read stories. Introducing a sharp-tongued, disagreeable grandmother is more difficult. But Nelson pulls it off. Great-grandmother Nell is described by the narrator as scary. She’s vain, growls, and calls the girl “my pretty,” like the witch in The Wizard of Oz, while yanking her ear. She’s other things, too, though: a woman who has a bedroom that smells like flowers and has a ballerina doll on her bed, and she drinks from a glass with a spider on it because she has a broken heart. She also dabs lipstick on the girl and tells stories about her life. Illustrator Zunon cleverly alters her art throughout, portraying a steely woman of today and then using hazy watercolors and collage art to show events of the past, including church picnics and civil rights moments. By book’s end, perceptive readers will see this 96-year-old as a multilayered woman who has experienced joy and tears—and is loved by a great-granddaughter who embraces her complexity. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2016 Gr 1–3—Great-grandmother Nell is 96 and prickly, and her great-granddaughter admires her very much. Little by little, the girl learns bits and snatches about her great-grandmother's life, including one of the things that caused her broken heart: when Nell's best friend told her they couldn't be friends anymore because of her brown skin. Nelson weaves tension into the text as the little girl wants desperately to have the attention of her great-grandmother, but the elderly lady just isn't one for giving out affection. The eccentric nonagenarian eats fish for breakfast, wears pearls everywhere, and takes sips of an amber liquid that are so tiny that one glass lasts all day. The story's perspective is from the child, who finds her great-grandmother "scary" but also intriguing, outspoken, and glamorous. Zunon's lively, colorful illustrations balance the serious tone of the text with warmth and saturation. The two characters may seem very different, but Zunon gives each the same birthmark on her right cheek, indicating they may not be so different after all. VERDICT An appealing intergenerational story.—Jennifer Steib Simmons, Anderson County Library, SC - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.