My GrandMom (Gee-eun Lee)

Hello, friends! First, let me apologize for the recent inconsistency in our reviews – as the fall semester has worn on, we are having trouble posting in a timely manner. Please be patient with us, and we will hopefully be back to our regular schedule within the next few weeks.

But for today, we wanted to bring you a review of the delightful and touching My GrandMom, written and illustrated by Gee-eun Lee and translated by Sophie Bowman, a tender look at the special relationship between grandmothers and their grandkids.

Based on the author/illustrator’s experiences with her own GrandMom – or Halmoni – the reader quickly learns that little Gee-eun and her Halmoni have a special bond. When Gee-eun is upset, Halmoni can soothe her with warm comfort food and fantastical stories. When Gee-eun worries that her mother won’t be able to attend Family Sports Day, Halmoni assures her of the elder’s grace and athletic ability. Yet when the two compete at the aforementioned event, Halmoni and Gee-eun are not able to win the race. Still, Halmoni does what GrandMoms do best: finds a way to turn the day around with kindness, love, and a comforting snack.

Equal parts entertaining and touching. Lee’s personal connection to the work shines in every facet, from the strikingly realistic details of the interactions between Gee-eun and Halmoni, to the whimsical and warm childlike illustrations. To me, the best part is how the story manages to show that Halmoni is human and imperfect while also illustrating what a special place she holds in Gee-eun’s life and heart. It’s a honest look at our relationships with the people we love; sometimes they try their best but let us down, still we love them all the same. The length is fine for a storytime, and JJ loved the combo of peaceful story and lively illustrations. Overall, a lovely treat, and we recommend it – Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)