Are you close to your grandparents? Physically or spiritually? I was physically close to both sets of grandparents (one lived in the upper part of the house, the other about 20-30 minutes’ drive). Therefore, when kids would say, “I’m going to New Jersey for Christmas.” I was, “Huh? You mean you don’t put on a pair of pants and slippers and go upstairs?” After all, it was a big deal if we went to the other grandparent’s house (the drive) I mean we had to put on shoes and a jacket! I could not wrap my head around Jersey!
And I, even as an adult, cannot really imagine what it would be like if your grandmother lived in Taipei, Taiwan. Even though our young hero in Amah Faraway has had video chats with her grandmother, but still when she flies there to visit her (I mean getting a passport to see your grandparent? Yup. That’s a long way from slippers and just a jacket) she is understandably nervous. And since Taipei has odd foods, language, people and buildings, our young friend is not sure how she feels about all of it. The theme of change and “warming up” to your situation is in the forefront, yet there is also the relationship between grandparent and grandchild.
Margaret Chiu Greanias has based some of the feelings and events of their own experiences. This helps gives it a realistic tone. And Tracy Subisak illustrates this journey with bright, fun colors and the perfect details. The two complement each other making this a happy picture book. There is a not the traditional ‘ACTION’ the more active child would be interested in, but there is a lot to enjoy.