Two recent picture books I’ve read focus on grandchild/grandparent relationships. They both explore the beauty of the inter-generational bond through a melancholy yet tender narration and beautifully styled illustrations.
I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne, illustrated by Julia Kuo
From the perspective of a young girl comes this heartfelt narrative of a granddaughter-grandmother relationship. Growing up in Taiwan, the narrator and her mother are very close, and together they go for walks and celebrates holidays by eating meals together. But when the narrator moves to the United States, she must learn a different culture and keep in touch with Popo by using technology. As the girl ages, so does Popo, though Popo’s love will always be timeless in the narrator’s heart.
The bold and textured illustrative style of this book paired with its simple yet evocative sentences makes for a charming read. The ending emotionally moves me with its bittersweet culmination.
After the story, the book contains a note from both author and illustrator, as well as a brief glossary of terms.
All From a Walnut by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Felicita Sala
One day, Emilia wakes up to a walnut on her nightstand. It is walnut season! She asks her grandfather to tell her a story, and he regales her with a story from his boyhood when his family took a boat from Croma to the United States with a walnut in his pocket. With care and patience, Emilia’s grandfather was able to grow a giant walnut tree, and he helps her plant her own walnut. As the seasons cycle through, her grandfather’s health declines as Emilia’s tree begins to sprout bigger.
Understated and kindly, this narration depicts a simple and tender generational tale. Accompanied by illustrations with organic lines and a muted natural color palette, this picture book delivers a pensive, sweet, familial narrative.
Perhaps you recall my post 5 Awesome Picture Book Biographies About Female Writers. Illustrator Felicita Sala also produced the art for She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein.
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