My Grandma and Me

Written by: Mina Javaherbin

Illustrated by: Lindsey Yankey

For ages: 4-7 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Family, Islam, Culture & Traditions, Global Community, Muslim, Cross-Religion Friendships, Own Voices, Iran. 

Summary: This is a lovely story about a young girl growing up in Iran and the strong relationship she has with her grandmother.  They are Muslim, and the young girl is the only one to wake up for namaz with her grandmother, and it’s a special time they spend together.  The pair do everything together, and visit friends.  One pair of friends they visit is another older woman and her granddaughter, Annette.  Annette and her grandmother are Christian and the quad are all best friends, spending afternoons laughing and playing together.  When the main character and her grandma are at home, sometimes the girl will use her grandmother’s chadors to build a fort or have a superhero cape!  Although she is too young to fast during Ramadan, she still wakes up with her grandmother to eat before the sun rises.  When she is older they both go to the mosque before daylight, wearing chadors.  When she sees Annette later, they both share that their grandmothers prayed for the other one to go to heaven, so they could continue to laugh and drink coffee together.

Although we don’t typically post religious books often, this story is about the beautiful love shared between family members and the serenity that Islam brings them.  The illustrations are beautiful and whimsical, bringing a dreamlike quality that comes with remembering a family member fondly.  This is such a great book to talk about family relationships, traditions, different countries, growing up, or religion!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

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Mina Javaherbin was born in Iran and moved to the United States many years ago. She lives in a beach city in Southern California with my husband and two children, who are enthusiastic soccer players and fans. Living here by the beach, of course, means they all swim and surf, and can’t help but play tennis as well. It’s always tennis weather around there and almost all parks have tennis courts. Mina believes that even though she has an architectural education, and nowadays that write books too, she seem to really be her children’s chauffeur and “food manager”, a term they use to make Mina feel important and in charge! Mina would like to add laundry manager, homework manager, and entertainment manager to the list as well.

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Lindsey Yankey grew up in rural Kansas playing outside, painting, drawing, and playing sports. She studied Illustration at the University of Kansas and is currently living in Lawrence, KS with her family and their jungle of house plants.

Lindsey finds inspiration in nature, animals, books, people, and traveling. Her illustrations are made with a variety of materials. Lindsey loves the mouthwatering juiciness of oil paint, the independence watercolor, the history of found paper, the simplicity of pencil and pen, and all the rabbit holes that are revealed by carving linoleum block to create pattern and repetition.  Making children’s books is her way of combining all of her loves.

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