LOOK AT ME, GRANDMA! by Valerie Mendes


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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Jamie’s grandmother has come to care for him while his mother is in the hospital having a baby. (Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be a father present.) Seeking to reassure him, Jamie’s grandmother shows him a photo album of her childhood. Within the pages of photos are a few of grandma’s brother Callum (with red hair and green eyes), who died when he was ten. That night, Jamie’s dreams are visited by Callum, who acts as the comforting impetus for Jamie to try some activities he has heretofore found frightening and difficult. The title derives from little Jamie’s exclamation each time he acquires one of these new skills, from bike-riding to swimming. These dreams could be viewed as the medium in which Jamie “imagines” what it would be like to have an older sibling mentor just as he would like to be for his new sibling. The dreams also, however, yield an eeriness to this work and lend a kind of unnerving, haunting air, especially when Jamie’s new baby sister arrives home sporting Callum’s same red hair and green eyes. Fletcher’s illustrations are sumptuous, thick with fresh aquas and deep blues evocative of the nearby sea, and the characters are exquisitely rendered, right down to their expressive facial features. Mendes nicely weaves together the triumphs of acquiring new skills with new-sibling jitters, but the ghostly dreams confuse the point. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-439-29654-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2001


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