cover image When Lola Visits

When Lola Visits

Michelle Sterling, illus. by Aaron Asis. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-297285-9

“How do I know summer is here?” asks a brown-skinned girl as she awaits her grandmother’s arrival from the Philippines. From the minute Lola arrives, clad in red spectacles and a light green pangbahay dress, her granddaughter’s world teems with the smells and tastes of Filipino food (“It smells like suman steaming on the stove for afternoon merienda and tiny red chilies spilling into sizzling sisig”) and intimate familial moments (“rolling hundreds of lumpia”). In turn, the narrating child shares quiet self-achievements (“blue silence when I’m finally able to float by myself for the first time ever”) and seasonal activities from her American home, such as harvesting limes and picnicking under Fourth of July fireworks. Asis’s (Soaring Saturdays) unlined illustrations in earthy hues and vibrant greens lend the tale a bright, summery feel. Debut author Sterling blends Filipino traditions with popular U.S. summer activities, creating a tender story celebrating culture shared between generations. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Andrea Morrison, Writers House. (May.) [/em]