- Nana, Nenek & Nina by Liza Ferneyhough
Trade ed. ISBN 9780593353943 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 9780593353950 $10.99
Reviewed from digital galleys R* 3-7 yrs
Nina's grandmothers live far away from her San Francisco home—Nana is in Britain while Nenek lives in Malaysia—so their granddaughter must pack different things to visit either one. In side-by-side depictions, readers get to see Nina's parallel experiences in Britain and Malaysia as she revels in grandmotherly attention, playing games, shopping, eating, and tucking into bed. This graceful, meticulously detailed picture book is a loving ode to two cultures, as the symmetry of the spreads conveys the similarities of each destination while accentuating their different cultural activities and aesthetics. The colorful watercolor and quill-dip pen illustrations, rendered on tea-stained paper, create a sepia-toned nostalgic effect that augments the warmth of the grandmothers' bonds with Nina. The clever parallels also extend to the simple text, as most scenes use the same sentence construction or include expressions from each grandmother's language, with occasional statements that capture both scenes reaching across the divided page. Young readers will want to circle back to pore over the precise renderings of each place's characteristics and to relive the day with Nana, Nenek, and Nina.