BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Grandpa Grumps by Katrina Moore, illustrated by Xindi Yan [in Shelf Awareness]

Despite Daisy’s carefully prepared “Things to do with Yeh-yeh” list, her goal during the week of her grandfather’s visit is something far more challenging: “I have to make him smile before he leaves!” In creating Daisy and her Grandpa Grumps, Katrina Moore (One Hug) explores multi-generational, multicultural expectations and surprises with humor, patience, and love, while Pratt-trained artist Xindi Yan’s utterly delightful art adds cultural authenticity.

A tea party, hot cocoa, and snowman-building are some of the activities Daisy plans to share with Yeh-Yeh (Dad’s Dad), but his Sunday arrival is marked with grumbles rather than hugs. “Day and night, Daisy tried to make Yeh-Yeh smile, and day and night – he didn’t.” By Friday, a worried Daisy asks her mother for advice. “He shows love in other ways,” she assures Daisy. Indeed, when Daisy sneaks into Yeh-Yeh’s room with her latest surprise, she discovers plenty of evidence of his appreciative affection. By visit’s end, there are belly laughs, jolly hugs, and the promise of more time together.

Moore declares in her author bio that her mission is “to create books that children will hug for ages.” Chinese-born Yan (Sylvia Rose and the Cherry Tree) helps fulfill this mission by augmenting the text with rambunctious energy. Pig-tailed Daisy and bushy-browed Yeh-Yeh’s memorable expressions illuminate every page, and Daisy’s sassy kitty and enchanting wardrobe (unicorn horn headband, fluffy boas, and sparkling tiaras she shares with Yeh-Yeh) make for picture perfect scenarios. Her culturally sensitive enhancements are especially notable: the upside down fú character to welcome Yeh-Yeh’s fortuitous visit; Chinese furniture and accessories throughout; and Chinese cooking tools scattered on kitchen counters. With Yan’s Pixar-ready illustrations and Moore’s sweet text about familial communication, Grandpa Grumps invites smiles all around.

Discover: Katrina Moore’s multi-generational, multicultural family fun celebration, Grandpa Grumps, gets an extra boost of vivacity from ingenious illustrator Xindi Yan.

Review: “Children’s & Young Adult,” Shelf Awareness, April 10, 2020

Readers: Children

Published: 2020


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