Nana, Nenek & Nina

Dial. Aug. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593353943.
PreS-Gr 1–Nina, who is around age five or six, has one grandma in Malaysia and another in England, and gets to visit both in this clever same-and-different book that is Ferneyhough’s debut. Images of Nina’s home “in-between” the grandmas show the Golden Gate bridge; she flies toward the sunrise for one visit, and toward the sunset for the other. Differences abound, but spotting similarities is also fun and instructive. Food is mostly different but a little similar; sand is the same; temperatures are different; the moon is the same. The most important similarity is the feeling Nina has for her grandmothers, and they have for her. The detailed but clearly drawn illustrations show Malaysian art, English teacups, and American guitars. Mama and Nenek are light brown; Dad and Nana are pale; no one is idealized. Speech bubbles contain short duplicated phrases in Nenek’s Malay and Nana’s English (with pronunciation help for some words). Even Nana’s English isn’t the same as American English!
VERDICT Nina’s comfort in very-far-apart places, her facility with languages, and her love for family mean that this engaging book will widen the world for young listeners and their families, no matter their locations or origins.

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