Thursday, September 12, 2013

From Generation to Generation

It wasn't until I sat down to write about our favorite new library books that I realized that several had something in common: inter-generational relationships.  Not all of them focused on relatives, either, which is somewhat rare.

Henry and the Kite Dragon by Bruce Edward Hall. Illustrated by William Low with lush colors and beautiful depictions of light and shadow, this is two stories in one - the story of the relationship between a group of children and a neighborhood elder, and of the tensions between Chinese and Italian immigrant children on the border of Chinatown and Little Italy.
This Is Our House. by Hyewon Yum.   A young girl narrates the story of three generations of her family (including herself) who have lived - and still live - in the same house.  A beautiful book about the cycle of life (but without any death) and inter-generational living.  I thought my always-in-need-of-excitement 5-year-old would be bored by this one, but she proved me wrong.  In fact, she listened so closely to the book, including to the part where the mother brings home the college boyfriend who she would marry and who would become the narrator's father, that when my 8-year-old and I were discussing all-women's colleges, my younger one interjected, "But then you won't come home with a boyfriend!"  Not exactly the takeaway I - or, probably, the author - had in mind!

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox.  A lovely but bittersweet story about the inter-generational friendship between a young boy and the residents of the old people's home he lives next door to. 

Mrs. Katz and Tush by the prolific and sensitive Patricia Polacco is another bittersweet book about not just an inter-generational but an inter-racial and inter-religious relationship.  The endurance of the friendship depicted and the way the now-grown boy honors the memory of his old friend at the end of the book is truly special.

What is your favorite picture book about an inter-generational relationship?

No comments:

Post a Comment