Grandmother, Have the Angels Come?

Denise Vega, Author, Erin Eitter Kono, Illustrator , illus. by Erin Eitter Kono. Little, Brown $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-10663-4

In this paean to grandmotherly love, presented in a repeating question and answer format, a girl perceives her grandmother’s physical aging as a gift from the angels, and wonders whether she will always be with her. The impish-looking white-haired grandmother responds with assurances of her continued love and presence even, the text implies, after death. Vega (Click Here (to find out how i survived seventh grade) ) delivers a mélange of sentimentality and spirituality— “Grandmother, Grandmother, have the angels come and darkened your eyes? Yes, my darling granddaughter... they have dimmed my vision so I may see more clearly.... I will see you over valleys and deep inside your soul.” (Angels have also rendered the woman hard of hearing, stooped, toothless, etc.) Kono’s (Hula Lullaby ) lush, swirling illustrations—full-bleeds dominated by deep orange and turquoise—save the book from the syrupy mix. Terra-cotta skin tones and embroidered clothing, along with the vibrant color palette, evoke Central or South America. The affection that pours from the pages is strong and believable, but the book’s equation of physical debilitation with old age, along with its undertones of approaching death, may puzzle and disturb the target audience. Ages 3–6. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/26/2009
Release date: 02/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-0-316-06995-3
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