Sunday, July 23, 2017

Grandma's Tiny House

Grandma's Tiny House
written by JaNay Brown-Wood; illustrated by Priscilla Burris
2017 (Charlesbridge)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Grandma's house stays small as the family grows. 
Will everyone fit inside this time? Who knows?!

As one grandma continues to live in her very small house, her family grows larger and larger. Staring at a wall of pictures, Grandma wonders if everyone will fit in her house. Let the counting begin! The smells of two turkeys deliciously waft in the air. At her front door stand three neighbors with four pots of greens and ham hocks. Coming up the walk are five family friends with six dozen biscuits. The counting continues as uncles come with jugs of lemonade. Aunties arrive with cheesecakes while nephews bring pumpkin pies. After fifteen grandchildren rush to Grandma, a dilemma presents itself. Where will everyone eat? With no room in the house, an adorable grandchild wearing a yellow hairband has the answer.

I'm not sure I've ever been more delighted to count to 15. Let me start near the beginning where Grandma is viewing the pictures on her wall. This wonderful text and sweet artwork brought back memories of my grandmother living in a tiny house with family pictures everywhere. Seeing everyone gathering in the house, smiling and laughing, reminded me of family meals with wonderful food and conversations. Students will make this connection as well. In the classroom or at home, you can read Grandma's Tiny House to have students write their own family version based on the book. What do family gatherings look like in the homes of your students? If you teach kindergarten, you could shorten the counting to ten for the writing. Could you use this book with older students? Yes, first and second graders would benefit from mini-lessons about parts of speech. There are many adjectives and vivid verbs to use to model good writing. Even better than making me hungry, Grandma's Tiny House brings an extra large helping of love. What could be better than that?

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