Grandmother, Have the Angels Come?

( 1 )


With its beautiful imagery and vibrant illustrations Grandmother, Have the Angels Come? celebrates the relationship between old and young, while touching on the subject of aging in a subtle, lyrical manner.

Denise Vega's graceful, rhythmic dialogue combine with stunning art from Hula Lullaby's Erin Eitter Kono to tackle a tough subject with a graceful and spiritual touch.

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With its beautiful imagery and vibrant illustrations Grandmother, Have the Angels Come? celebrates the relationship between old and young, while touching on the subject of aging in a subtle, lyrical manner.

Denise Vega's graceful, rhythmic dialogue combine with stunning art from Hula Lullaby's Erin Eitter Kono to tackle a tough subject with a graceful and spiritual touch.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
In this lovely book a young girl questions her grandmother about the changes taking place. She has noticed Grandmother's white hair, her failing vision and loss of teeth. She asks her grandmother if the angels have painted her hair, darkened her eyes and taken her teeth. To these and other questions, Grandmother gives reassuring answers. When asked if the angels have bent her fingers, Grandmother replies, "Yes, my darling granddaughter. They have bent my fingers so I may hold your hand more tightly." The girl then asks, "Will you hold me when I'm scared and feeling all alone? And the grandmother says, "Yes, my darling granddaughter. I will hold you when you fly and when you fall." The poetic text is nicely complemented by the striking acrylic and pencil illustrations done on watercolor paper. The story offers reassurance about the signs of aging and is also a promise of endless love. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal

Gr 1-2

A grandmother and her granddaughter share a dialogue about aging in which the woman answers the child's questions with reassurances about the physical changes that come with time. Kono's acrylic and pencil folk art evokes a rural Latin American setting and features monarch butterflies, smiling suns, and iconic swirling backgrounds. Vega's Hispanic characters are depicted in traditional dress and she manages to convey an acceptance of a stage in life that many Americans are loathe to embrace. The poetic give-and-take allows readers to think deeply about the topic. The granddaughter's query "have the angels come and darkened your eyes?" is answered with the graceful "Yes.... They have dimmed my vision so I may see more clearly." Vega belabors the point though. By the time grandmother's hair, ears, teeth, back, hands, legs, and feet have been addressed, readers will have aged too, and may miss the lovely last line. Lyrical and warm, this is an additional purchase for large multicultural and intergenerational collections.-Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC

Kirkus Reviews
Kono's flowing acrylics swirl about this bright, abstract tribute to an old woman's love for her little brown granddaughter, who thinks angels have made her wonderful grandmother the way she is: white hair, bowed back, slow step. Grandmother answers every query by agreeing and explaining that each sign of age is a loving gift to bless her granddaughter. Where the little girl questions the physical world around her, however, Grandmother spins a spiritual depth to their explorations together, at a level that will be only partially understood by young readers: "Will you taste the wild honey / and drink my lemonade? / Yes, my darling granddaughter. / I will taste the sweetness of your Spirit / and we will drink the lasting waters." In the end, Grandmother gathers all the questions and extends the flame of a candle to her granddaughter, promising that "together... / We will set the world on fire," an unarguably beautiful inspiration that needs a little tinkering and demystifying to work with its target audience. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316106634
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,261,709
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Denise Vega wrote her first children's book when she was twelve years old. Her short stories have been published in a number of children's magazines including Spider, Highlights and Pockets. She is the author of Click Here (to find out how i survived seventh grade).

Erin Eitter Kono was raised in the Midwest, studied Art History in England, then became a Flight Attendant and traveled throughout the world. Her work is inspired by the cultures and places she loves. She has illustrated Hula Lullaby (which she also wrote) and Passover!

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Grandmother Conversation

    Simply by looking at the cover, you know that this book has interesting artistry. Flipping through the pages, it is seen that the pictures pull imagination with reality in an absolutely beautiful fashion. The colors are vibrant and the images are very pleasing to the eye. I could easily imagine a child staring at these pictures for hours and imagine mine will too in the years to come. (Due in August, btw).

    The story is a conversation between a granddaughter and her grandmother discussing the effects of aging as from the vision of a child. It is an incredibly creative way to explain the various effects of aging that are not normally explained to a child. On each page, the granddaughter asks the grandmother if the angels have come and done something such as covered her ears, and then the grandmother explains yes and why to prepare her.

    Each page has a great rhythm and this is easily a good read-aloud book. I recommend it, and once you have read, I believe that you will too.

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