On the Caribbean island of Jamaica, when a young girl named Shelly-Ann gets hungry, she asks her grandmother to make a Jamaican dish. Each time, Shelly-Ann’s grandmother shows her how to make a meal, Shelly-Ann’s cooking is faulty i.e. too soft, mushy, burnt, salty. One day the grandmother is too tired to cook so the girl demonstrates her independence in the kitchen and cooks her grandmother a breakfast that isn’t as good as her grandmother’s but considering that this is only Shelly-Ann’s second time cooking the foods, they both find the meal tasty. Children and adults will appreciate the child’s determination to be as good of a cook as granny but it will take practice as it took granny many years to perfect her culinary skills. There are 4 recipes included for fried or boiled dumplings, ackee, saltfish and fried plantains. Additionally fun facts about Jamaica are added at the back of this picture book. Illustrations are eye-catching and suit the story. Due to the added recipes, an older child could definitely benefit from this book.
In this middle grade novel, an 11 year old boy nicknamed Scoob has his share of school related problems. Additionally, he is mixed heritage and brown skinned with a white or pale skinned grandmother. They adore each other. Grandmother takes Scoob on a roadtrip through southern states and educates him about 1960’s events related to the African American experience. Grandmother relives a trip that could not be completed with Scoob’s grandfather in the 1960s because he was a brown skinned man and society frowned upon mixed relationships. The author unravels a grandmother who would be respected anywhere because of skin color but with a life lived of poverty and continuous criminal activity. Readers learn that she educates her grandson about racism but contributed to it in her past. Scoob’s dad who was reared by only his mother now is rearing Scoob singly. Interesting reading to keep pages turning. Text is appropriate for this targeted age group. Black and white illustrations dispersed throughout give eyes extra facts and details to look at. A good class discussion book. Looking forward to a sequel.