Grandma Esther Remembers: A Jewish-American Family Story

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This is a charming portrait of a loving family and of the grandmother who is a vital part of her grandchildren's lives. Grandma Esther takes the subway from her home in Brooklyn (carefully described as a part of New York City) to visit her granddaughters in Manhattan (also a part of New York City.) She sometimes takes them to a bakery. Sometimes the girls go to Brooklyn to visit her. When they see the Statue of Liberty, the stories of Esther's memories begin. Her childhood was very happy. The Holocaust is dealt with on one page in a few well-chosen words. The girls like to hear about the "old country" as she shows them old family pictures. They cook old family recipes together. And she sings them a lullaby that her mother sang to her. The words and music are included in the book. Grandma lost all of her family in the war, but she has pictures of her parents and brothers. She immigrated to Israel (then still called Palestine) after the war, married a man named Eli, and had two sons, one of whom is the girls' father. They soon moved to New York, where Grandpa Eli was a college professor until he died in 2001. The only difficulty with the format of this book is the typeface, which changes to large and bold as different subjects are introduced. When reading it to the very youngest children, the small type often indicates concepts that could be left out¾that is, not read aloud at that point, to those children. When reading to older children, beginning readers could read the large print on their own, so that the story truly can be shared. It's a good read, and difficult concepts are handled well. The photographs are wonderful, and the few illustrations are reminiscent of Chagall. Recommended asa family book, not something just to be handed to a child with the comment "read it." Part of the "What was it like, Grandma?" series by Ann Morris. 2002, Millbrook Press,
— Judy Silverman
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Morris describes the routines of three families, emphasizing how the grandmothers and grandchildren interact with one another. In the course of the narratives, some information about the women's personal histories emerge. Each story is fairly interesting and, while there is a pattern to the series, each title presents some aspects of the culture and family values that it depicts. An activity is included-most often a recipe-and suggestions of other ways for children to find out about their family history. Bright, colorful photographs, some by Linenthal and others provided by the families, accompany the clearly written prose. A sentence or two on each page is printed in large, colored bold type, and the rest of the text is in a smaller font. It is not apparent why these particular passages have been highlighted, since they neither contain the most significant bits of information, nor are they particularly relevant to the illustration on the page. The final page presents a "family tree" with photographs of the participants in the story and other relatives. While not essential additions to most collections, this series is nevertheless a nice vehicle through which children can be introduced to family stories.-Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761323181
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Series: What Was It like, Grandma? Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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