Expected publication: May 15th 2016 by Lee & Low Books
Mei Mei’s grandpa is practicing tai chi in the garden, and Mei Mei is eager to join in. As Gong Gong tries to teach her the slow, graceful movements, Mei Mei enthusiastically does them with her own flair. Then Mei Mei takes a turn, trying to teach Gong Gong the yoga she learned in school. Will Gong Gong be able to master the stretchy, bendy poses?Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, A Morning with Grandpa celebrates, with lively spirit and humor, the special bond between grandparent and grandchild and the joy of learning new things together. Readers of all ages will want to try out some tai chi and yoga too!
Author Sylvia Liu introduces us to Mei Mei, a young girl who joins her tai-chi practicing grandfather or Gong Gong in the garden. They bond over a shared love of spending time outdoors, and learn from each other's love of tai-chi and yoga respectively, leading to a wonderful morning overall.
There are many things I adore about A Morning with Grandpa, beginning with the fact that this is a book that celebrates a relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter. As someone who had a similar relationship with my grandfather, I love seeing this not-often recognized relationship recognized for a wider reading audience.
As Liu showcases the relationship, she is careful to emphasize that this isn't just a one-way relationship. Both grandfather and granddaughter are able to learn from each other, as they mutually share their love of tai-chi and yoga respectively. There's a definite sense of generations and cultures being bridged as grandfather and granddaughter exchange tai-chi and yoga knowledge, and I think readers of all ages can appreciate the loving and ever-growing bond between the two of them.
Though subtle, the book also beautifully emphasizes the idea that it's never too late to learn and appreciate culture and ideas, especially different ones. Mei Mei lovingly learns from her grandfather about Chinese culture, while Gong Gong learns about yoga, with amusing results.
With bright and colorful illustrations from Christina Forshay, this is a book that will appeal to readers from all backgrounds and ages alike.
Bottom line: Sylvia Liu has written a warm-hearted, colorful tale about a young girl's relationship with her grandfather, and how an interest in learning new things helps bond different generations and experiences together.
I adored this book, not just for its celebration of culture, but also for the fact that it reminds readers of all cultures that it's never too late to learn and appreciate the world around you. Highly recommend, full stop - this is definitely a morning to remember.
About the author and illustrator:
SYLVIA LIU was inspired to write this story by the playful and loving relationship between her children and their Gong Gong. Before devoting herself to writing and illustrating children's books, she worked as an environmental lawyer at the US Department of Justice and the nonprofit group Oceana. She lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with her husband and their two daughters. This is Sylvia's debut picture book.
CHRISTINA FORSHAY is a full-time illustrator known for her colorful images and joyous style. Born and raised in sunny California, She was inspired to become an illustrator by her many visits to Disneyland and by watching hours of cartoons as a child. Today she still watches cartoons for inspiration for her illustrations! Christina lives with her husband, son, daughter, andtwo dogs in California.