cover image Grandparents


Chema Heras, trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado, illus. by Rosa Osuna. Greystone Kids, $17.95 (36p) ISBN 978-1-77164-566-9

This book’s generic title does not hint at what it actually delivers—a warmhearted romance, with a dance party at the end. Scribbly multimedia spreads by graphic artist Osuna open on a view of portly Manuel—Grandfather—sitting in the dirt of his garden, an inquisitive bird perched on his head. A passing car broadcasts an invitation to a dance that night. His wife, Manuela—Grandmother—is not enthusiastic: “I’m not flitting from party to party like a girl anymore.” Rapid-fire dialogue by Heras charms in Amado’s natural-sounding translation. Grand-father coaxes Grandmother with a daisy. She resists—“I am as ugly as a chicken with no feathers”—but begins, grudgingly, to primp: “I’m going to hide my legs. They are as skinny as knitting needles.” Grandfather’s compliments pile up cumulatively, “Twelve Days of Christmas”–style, as quirky drawings offer more amusement, like one of Grandmother laid out on an ironing board, the better to address her wrinkles. Grandfather’s boyish charm (“But you are so pretty... as pretty as the sun!”), Grandmother’s sweet-tempered vanity, and their unabashed fondness for one another make it clear that grandparents are wholly alive, with their ability to flirt intact. Ages 3–8. [em](May) [/em]