Just Like Grandma

Just Like Grandma cover
Just Like Grandma by Kim Rogers. Illustrated by Julie Flett

By Kim Rogers
Illustrated by Julie Flett
Heartdrum / HarperCollins, 2023
32 pages

Ages 4-8

“On the steps of a house at the end of the street … ” A patterned text begins with a series of vignettes in which Becca wants to be “just like Grandma.” She watches Grandma bead, dance, and paint, asking each time asks if she can join in. “Together they bead … flutter like the most beautiful butterflies … paint … ” Each activity ends when Grandpa calls them in to eat: corn soup, fried chicken, pancakes. At the powwow, it’s beans and fry bread after Grandma dances Fancy Shawl and wins the grand prize. A reversal in the story comes with Grandma watching Becca practice basketball. She wants to be “just like Becca” and together they shoot hoops “until Grandpa calls them in for to:kic and white bread.” When Becca makes the team, they three go out for pepperoni pizza to celebrate. “On the steps of a house at the end of the street Becca knows that she is just like Grandma … And Grandma knows that she is just like Becca.” The emotion is palpable in this lyrical, wonderfully paced picture book. The narrative and muted, warm-hued illustrations work together to convey details of this contemporary Wichita family’s life and love. The author (Wichita and Affiliated Tribes) includes a note about her own grandparents and a glossary; the illustrator (Swampy Cree/Métis) includes information on the importance of beadwork in Native cultures historically and today. ©2023 Cooperative Children’s Book Center