From School Library Journal
Grade 1–2—A grandmother and her granddaughter share a dialogue about aging in which the woman answers the child's questions with reassurances about the physical changes that come with time. Kono's acrylic and pencil folk art evokes a rural Latin American setting and features monarch butterflies, smiling suns, and iconic swirling backgrounds. Vega's Hispanic characters are depicted in traditional dress and she manages to convey an acceptance of a stage in life that many Americans are loathe to embrace. The poetic give-and-take allows readers to think deeply about the topic. The granddaughter's query "have the angels come and darkened your eyes?" is answered with the graceful "Yes…. They have dimmed my vision so I may see more clearly." Vega belabors the point though. By the time grandmother's hair, ears, teeth, back, hands, legs, and feet have been addressed, readers will have aged too, and may miss the lovely last line. Lyrical and warm, this is an additional purchase for large multicultural and intergenerational collections.—Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC
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“Grandmother, Grandmother have the angels come and painted your hair?” “Yes, my darling granddaughter. / They have painted it white / so I may become more like the clouds.” So begins this beautifully illustrated picture book about a loving family relationship. With each question a young girl asks, her grandmother answers, lyrically reframing signs of aging, such as dimming sight, hearing, and bent fingers. Vibrant folk-art illustrations fill the pages and portray the brown-skinned characters in embroidered clothing and lush natural settings. Set in both the day and night, the fanciful scenes play out against swirling backgrounds and from whimsical perspectives. The story is somewhat lengthy, and some imagery may be a bit esoteric for younger children (“taste the sweetness of your Spirit”). Still, the story respects a child’s curiosity and concerns, and recasts aging with positive and poetic imagery and reassurances of eternal love. Grades K-2. --Shelle Rosenfeld