BEAUTY BESIDE ME, STORIES OF MY GRANDMOTHERS SKIRTS by Seraphine Yazzie, Navajo, is a delightful weaving of images and words that express the pleasure of “being with grandma.” Baje Whitethorne’s watercolors illustrate each page with details that add humor plus cultural information. BEAUTY BESIDE ME is bilingual – both in Navajo and English – which provides an added treat. Not many readers will understand the Navajo, but they will have an unusual opportunity to see and hear Navajo (CD enclosed). What a special way to celebrate Native American Heritage Month, introduce a contemporary vibrant culture, and move beyond the Thanksgiving stereotypes of turkeys and pilgrims. The sharing of time and tasks – learning from one’s grandmother – is an additional pleasure. The tasks may differ – herding sheep, beading necklaces, cooking mutton stew – but the pleasure of “grandma time” is universal.
THE MEMORY BANK by Carolyn Coman and Rob Shepperson. This book is different: unusual and ingenious. Wacky and delightfully reminiscent of the mood and tone of Roald Dahl. Definitely a book for readers who enjoy being challenged to think and to figure out, what kind of story is this? In the World Wide Memory Bank all the memories of children are kept safe. Well – sort of safe. Mom and Dad have dumped little sister, Honey, forever! The lone – and lonely- older sister is determined to face many dangers to find her lost sister, or at least, the precious memories of her. This book will give solace to a child who has lost something beloved.