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GRANDMA CALLS ME BEAUTIFUL by Barbara M. Joosse

GRANDMA CALLS ME BEAUTIFUL

By Barbara M. Joosse (Author) , Barbara Lavallee (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: March 26th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8118-5815-1
Publisher: Chronicle

The very successful picture-book team of Joosse and Lavallee have previously explored mother love in Mama, Do You Love Me? (1991) and father love in Papa, Do You Love Me? (2005). They now visit grandmother love in this story of a Hawaiian grandmother and her granddaughter, Beautiful. Hawaiian words are sprinkled throughout the text with a glossary appended. (There’s also a string game with instructions in the back of the book.) The now-familiar formula makes for a sweet offering that some may find endearing but many will deem cloying and sticky. The similes seem forced: Beautiful has “breath as sweet as breadfruit pudding” and skin as “soft as kappa cloth.” And here Lavallee’s signature style—splitting her characters’ faces, with one-half light-skinned and the other dark—is somehow disturbing. Without the graceful symmetry of previous efforts, it’s as if half a face is attached to a profile, with an ultimately confusing result. Die-hard fans of this team may appreciate the offering, but most will find it redundant and/or disconcerting. (Picture book. 3-5)