Grandmas are lovely by Meredith Costain
Illus. by Nicolette Hegyes. Scholastic, 2020. ISBN: 9781743832769.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Children will thrill looking at the beautifully illustrated images of animals and their young. From pandas to lemurs, koalas and kookaburras, dingos and bettongs, parrots and polar bears, each double page sings with love and safety. Each adult animal is nurturing her young, the offspring of her offspring, emulating the grandmother in human society. The older animal shelters, protects, plays with, safeguards and teaches the younger animal, warmly wrapping them in their arms.
Through the four line stanzas, we hear of the joys grandmothers bring to their grandchildren, the skills and abilities and talents shared and passed on. Grandmothers are joyful and sweet, patient and kind, chirpy and bright, the best of playmates, funny, fearless and smart, protective and cuddly. Each rhyming line urges the audience to call out the word that ends each line, predicting the rhyme before it is said. Many of the class will learn the lines and read them with the reader after only a few readings, and have fun deciding which animal they love the best. The endearing illustrations will melt the hearts of the reader as each page is turned. Most of the animals are placed against a little background, encouraging students to think about the area that animal lives in. So the book may lead classes into linking the animals to their environments. But the whole book is fun, serving to heighten the role of grandmothers in their lives. Themes: Grandparents, Love, Animals.