Review: Grandmother Have the Angels Come?

Grandmother Have the Angels Come?

-- By Denise Vega and illustrated by Erin Eitter Kono

Product Details

 My Review

Truly, this is a heartwarming celebration of a bond that will last a lifetime. written with lyrical, affirming prose, this story reassures children that the special bond they share will always endure.

The story is a conversation between a granddaughter and her grandmother discussing the effects of aging as from the vision of a child. It is an incredibly creative way to explain the various effects of aging that are not normally explained to a child. On each page, the granddaughter asks the grandmother if the angels have come and done something such as covered her ears, and then the grandmother explains yes and why to prepare her.

My favorite sentence: "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."
..."I will see you over valleys and deep inside your soul."

5/5 stars!

Editorial Reviews

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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From Booklist

“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

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

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