Kirkus Review - With Love, Grandma
Kirkus Review (Jun 2018)
A hedgehog grandmother takes a monthlong vacation with friends while continually staying in touch with her beloved grandchild through a volume of correspondence. Taking a break from the usual routine of “Camp Grandma,” this active grandparent embarks on an adventurous excursion enjoying the woods, hiking, participating in painting classes, kayaking, visiting the beach, and even finding a “super bookstore.” Taking time out for herself is important, but Grandma continually thinks of her little one and relays a series of endearing messages in letters and postcards that arrive almost daily in her grandchild’s mailbox. Each begins with a term of endearment for the child and a line or two about what new experience Grandma is enjoying, always linking it to something the two, elder and youngster, did together in the past or will do once again when “Camp Grandma” resumes. “Dear Doodlebug, I took a painting lesson outside today,” leads to the assurance that “We’ll paint together at CAMP GRANDMA. Let’s walk to the park and paint whatever we see.” Although it is chronological, the story is not linear, asking readers to glean it from the specifics of each letter or note. Soft pencil and delicate watercolors show an engaging, vigorous grandmother enjoying her outings with smiling fellow forest animals while complementary scenes lovingly portray her memories of days spent with her grandchild. Should encourage dialogic reading and discussion—and hugs.