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NANA, NENEK & NINA by Liza Ferneyhough


by Liza Ferneyhough ; illustrated by Liza Ferneyhough

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-35394-3
Publisher: Dial Books

A child has two grandmothers in two different countries.

Nina, a little girl with short brown hair and light brown skin, lives in the United States, while her two grandmothers live elsewhere: Nana in the United Kingdom and Nenek in Malaysia. Through juxtaposed images split across spreads, Nina explores the differences between visiting Nenek and Nana. The background details of the illustrations include many cultural references to both the U.K. and Malaysia, while the text highlights major differences such as language (“Nana asks Nina for some help around the garden,” while "Nenek needs some help around the halaman too") and common activities and games. The text is often split across the pages (one page focusing on Nana, the other on Nenek), which can make for a disjointed—though not too confusing—reading experience. Though life with each of her grandmothers is different, ultimately Nina finds love with both of them in this gentle tale. The illustrations are studded with homey details, and the warm tones add to the welcoming and cozy atmosphere. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A lovely story, grounded in visual details, about how identity can be uncomplicated.

(Picture book. 4-7)