My Grandfather’s Song

Random/Make Me a World. Oct. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593488614.
K-Gr 2–In a moving story paired with lush illustrations, Tí travels with Grandfather to a strange new home, where the flora and fauna seem to loom over him, watching his every move. Grandfather eases Tí’s nerves by teaching him how to build on the knowledge of the people that came before them to commune with the land—the “song” of the title—and become confident in his role there. The married team behind this picture book, inspired by the mythology of their home, Vietnam, develop a visually rich story that is both a tribute to the past and a call to protect the natural world of the near future. The stunning landscapes on each page are fantastical and immersive: giant monkeys, tigers, and turtles loom in the jungle, while a dragon’s face is just barely visible in the dark, swirling clouds of a storm. Readers will feel the windswept grass tickle their feet and hear the ocean waves crash under Grandfather’s boat.
VERDICT Fans of Aaron Becker and David Wiesner will be drawn to this beautiful, surreal tale about learning how to have a respectful relationship with nature, thanks to the wisdom and efforts of one’s ancestors.

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