Hello Readers and Lovers of Picture Books!
Since I have a newfound appreciation for book reviews, I’m on a mission to post one picture book review each month of a book I love. All the picture books I review in 2018 from this point forward will be the books of 12×12 members! So here is February’s book: A Morning With Grandpa by Sylvia Liu with illustrations by Christina Forshay.
This book, published by Lee and Low Books, is the winner of the New Voices Award!
I was expecting to appreciate this book, but honestly, the writing and illustrations just shine beyond what I had imagined. I plan to use this as a mentor text for myself as a new writer and would recommend it for other new writers out there.
A Morning With Grandpa follows Mei Mei, who is eager to learn tai chi from her Grandpa while he is practicing in the garden. Mei Mei has her own unique style, performing the movements with youthful enthusiasm. Then Mei Mei teaches Grandpa the yoga she has learned at school. The stretchy poses are a challenge but Grandpa is a willing participant.
The book celebrates relationships with grandparents and the joy of being physically active together. Sylvia expertly uses similes and metaphors in a child friendly way, introducing emergent readers to the richness of language. A truly beautiful picture book to share with a child.
I had the fortunate opportunity to interview Sylvia Liu for this post. Here are my questions along with her answers.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
I love how everything that happens or that I read about is fodder for my writing. And I never feel guilty when reading for pleasure, because I can justify it as doing writerly research.
What is the most difficult thing about being a writer?
How difficult it is to write really well. How do writers get to the point where their writing is so seamless that the reader forgets they are reading and just becomes immersed in the story? I’m still trying to learn that.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Keep actively learning your craft, which means finding mentors, teachers, and critique partners to give you feedback on your work. Take writing classes and read craft articles and books. And never give up – remember, only you can tell your stories in your own way.
What do you hope readers will take away from your book, A Morning With Grandpa?
It’s never too late to learn a new skill and to spend time with your loved ones.
Which books are on your reading list?
I’m writing a middle grade cyberpunk novel, so I’m reading a lot in the genre, from classics in the adult arena (William Gibson, Phillip K. Dick) to recent MG and YA novels like Armada, by Ernest Cline and the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.
Have you got a picture book you love? I hope you’ll post a review. Amazon and Goodreads are great places to post. Let’s spread the love around!