BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

My Nana’s Remedies | Los remedios de mi nana by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford, illustrated by Edna San Miguel

My Nana's Remedies by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford on BookDragonIf we didn’t have our grandmothers, we wouldn’t have our mothers to appreciate today (and every day, ahem) … so make sure to add your mother’s mother to your acknowledgements, appreciations, and celebrations – spiritually, virtually, really, any way you can. Here’s a way to say thank you literally … because, of course, there’s always a book!

A little girl couldn’t be luckier to have her Nana neverfar. Not only does she enjoy her grandmother’s companionship and watchful eye, but Nana always knows what to do when ailments and injuries arise. For sore throats, Nana prepares cinnamon tea; for sleeplessness, chamomile; for troubled bellies, fresh mint and rosemary; for headaches, citrus blossoms and potato wedges. For just about every owwwee, Nana has a solution: “How lucky I am to have / such a special nana! / She is my very own, / personal healer.” We should all be so blessed … and if we are, today and every day is the perfect opportunity to voice our gratitude.

Author Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford has figured out an effective recipe – bilingually, even! – for sharing family traditions, honoring multi-generational bonds, and teaching simple truths in our ever-harried lives. Published 13 years apart, My Nana’s Remedies from Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Press – one of the Southwest’s primary presses offering bilingual children’s books – is an earlier companion to My Tata’s Remedies which debuted last month from spirited indie Cinco Puntos Press in Texas. As in Tata, Rivera-Ashford also enlisted an expert – botanist/researcher Ana Lilia Reina – in Nana to elucidate some of the healing properties of plants in the “Medicinal Plants Glossary” at book’s end.

The oldsters in both titles even share the same effective magic chant: “Sana, sana, colita de rana. / Si no sanas ahora, / sanarás mañana …” – the rhyme repeats almost exactly in both books in Spanish, although slightly differently in its English versions. In Nana, the translation goes “I’ll kiss it, I’ll kiss it, / and make it go away: / then you can go out and play.” Regardless of the exact words, the meaning remains abundantly clear: Nana and Tata, with their wealth of wisdom and knowledge, have powerful remedies to make your world healthier, happier, all-around better … all you need to do is listen, receive, and appreciate. Gratefully easy-peasy, right?

Here’s to a heartfelt, head-strong Mother (and Grandmother)’s Day today (and beyond) … and a “feliz día de la madre (y nana) siempre!”

Readers: Children

Published: 2002


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