What Will You Be, Grandma?

Nanette Newman, Author, Emma Chichester Clark, Illustrator
Nanette Newman, illus. by Emma Chichester Clark. Candlewick/Templar, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6099-4
Reviewed on: 07/02/2012
Release date: 08/28/2012
Paperback - 25 pages - 978-1-84877-543-5
Hardcover - 26 pages - 978-1-84877-529-9
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Assured by her granddaughter Lily that she “still has a long way to go,” Grandma is game to entertain a number of possibilities for her next act. “You could be a lady who goes to schools and says, ‘No more lessons today. Everyone go and play,’ ” writes British author/actress Newman in the voice of her young narrator. In fact, nothing is off the table as far as Lily is concerned; Grandma could even grow a pair of wings or cultivate “flowers that never die” and unpopular vegetables that taste like dessert. Clark fills out her watercolor and pencil fantasies with a passel of subsidiary characters and whimsical detailing (the patchwork pattern of Grandma’s wings is a nice touch). But a tableau prettiness prevails and keeps readers at arm’s length; the narrator’s imagination is in overdrive, but the book has the overall tone of a reverie. One thing is for sure, though: Clark’s portrayal of Grandma as a stylish, un-grayed woman of a certain age is sure to win her grownup fans. Ages 3–6. (Aug.)
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