by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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From Torres (Subway Sparrow, 1993), a book that offers perhaps a too-rosy portrayal of the relationships a girl has with her two grandmothers. Liliana spends time in each of her grandmother’s homes, one just down the street, one in another country. Through descriptions of Liliana’s time in the women’s homes—under scrutiny is the weather, food, activities, and personalities—two very different styles of living become apparent. Mima lives in town, does yoga and crossword puzzles, and makes quilts (on a sewing machine that isn’t plugged in and has no other visible works). Mama Gabina lives in “another country” (South America), keeps a parrot, talks to her flowers, dances, and snores through naps. In a world that may exist only in picture books, Liliana’s bedroom is neat and spare, with only one object on the nightstand, and with only a few toys and books. The interiors of the grandmothers’ homes are similarly spare, without VCRs, TVs, telephones, or other appliances. The lesson in comparisons is heavy and long; the illustrations are bland, despite the care spent in making the homes distinct. All the characters are badly drawn; the cat, in particular, suffers from limbs that have odd angles and lines. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-374-35105-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1998