My Grandma and Me (Hardcover)
In a true tale of a young girl in Iran and her grandmother, this beautiful ode to family celebrates small moments of love that become lifelong memories.
In this big universe full of many moons, I have traveled and seen many wonders, but I have never loved anything or anyone the way I love my grandma.
While Mina is growing up in Iran, the center of her world is her grandmother. Whether visiting friends next door, going to the mosque for midnight prayers during Ramadan, or taking an imaginary trip around the planets, Mina and her grandma are never far apart. At once deeply personal and utterly universal, Mina Javaherbin’s words make up a love letter of the rarest sort: the kind that shares a bit of its warmth with every reader. Soft, colorful, and full of intricate patterns, Lindsey Yankey’s illustrations feel like a personal invitation into the coziest home, and the adoration between Mina and her grandma is evident on every page.
About the Author
Mina Javaherbin has written several award-winning picture books, including Soccer Star, illustrated by Renato Alarcão, and Goal!, illustrated by A. G. Ford. She lives in Southern California.
Lindsey Yankey studied illustration at the University of Kansas and is the author-illustrator of Bluebird and Sun and Moon. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.
This sweet story is intermingled naturally with details about Iranian and Islamic traditions and values and supported by such visuals as an easy mix of traditional and Western attire and thoughtful inclusion of Persian design elements. It peaks in a moment of solidarity between the two grandmothers, each praying for the other to go to heaven, but via their different Muslim and Christian religions: a poignant, inclusive note. In its celebration of specific manifestations of universal love, this is highly recommended for families and educators, Muslim and non- alike, looking to teach children about Islam. A deep and beautiful book modeling grandmothers as heroines.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
This book offers both windows and mirrors into a warm and loving familial relationship and will be appreciated by a wide range of young readers. A lovely book for anyone looking for intergenerational stories for one-on-one or group sharing.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Yankey’s mixed-media illustrations will transport readers to an idyllic twentieth-century Iran, recalling the style of Persian art, with dusty, muted colors and intricately patterned rugs...While this book presents a relationship in a specific cultural context, a subtle message of interreligious peace and unity shines through, supported by the memories’ emotional universality, through which young readers will learn empathy and cultural understanding.
It is easy to admire the thoughtful, loving, and sweet relationship that blossoms between the two as they share the daily joys and comforts of their Muslim faith.
A Very Large Expanse of Sea was different than my normal reads for many reasons: 1) it dealt with modern politics and tensions 2) it dealt with racism, bias, and cultural interaction. Mafi's book challenged my way of thinking about other cultures and people. (It will probably do it to you too.) I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn problems in our society. - Kaitlyn, customer age 13