Review Blog

Dec 17 2019

My grandma is 100 by Aimee Chan

cover image

Illus. by Angela Perrini. Little Steps, 2019. ISBN: 9781925839531.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Themes: Age, Family, Birthdays, Numbers, Presents, Celebrations. Children will love recognising the customs surrounding birthdays as the narrator in this story talks about his grandma's approaching 100th birthday He wonders about what people will come along: will there be 100 people, or 100 birthday presents? And then of course, what sort of food to have: Grandma tells him she needs grown-up food like sandwiches and quiche not potato chips and little pies which she cannot eat, and he wonders whether they will need the fire brigade to put out the fire of 100 candles on the cake. Children will laugh along with grandma at the questions he asks, enjoying the hunour underlying the young boy's inquisitive nature. But they may be questions they ask as well, especially when they have a much older relative who needs special care. We find that his grandma is in a nursing home, so when the question of a present arises, he must be careful that it is not too big or noisy. He deliberates over what to give her, remembering how she only had a doll when she was younger in times which were, she tells him, a lot simpler.
Children will enjoy reading of the organisation around birthday parties, and particularly when someone turns 100, they will love questioning along with the narrator, and thinking about what they would do for their older relative.
The bright illustrations concentrate on the customs of the birthday party: lots of images of cake and presents, candles, flags and guests, making it a happy, involving look at how a birthday is celebrated.
Fran Knight

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