Mon Reading Button PB to YA


Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (brainchild of Sheila at BookJourney). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.

Last Week’s Review and Miscellany Posts

We’re also inviting everyone to join our Award Winning Books Reading Challenge for 2015 (#AWBRead2015)! It’s that time of the year to set new reading goals for the coming year.


Here is the sign up page and the March-April Linky if you already have reviews up. One randomly-selected participant would receive a copy of A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond, courtesy of Pansing books.

Click on the image to be taken to my review of A Song for Ella Grey
Click on the image to be taken to my review of A Song for Ella Grey

Click here to view my announcement post for more details.


Several weeks back, Fats has written a beautiful Monday reading post that consists of a collection of heartwarming picturebooks that pay beautiful tribute to grandfathers. Let me continue that this week with two beautiful picturebooks that found me from the library shelves.

IMG_0194Hot Hot Roti for Dada-ji

Written by: F. Zia
Art by: Ken Min
Published by: Lee & Low Books, 2011
Book borrowed from Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

For most experienced readers, there are tell-tale signs that a particular book would be quite meaningful: it could be the first sentence, the summary found at the back of the book, an insightful blurb, the book cover, the unexpected twists in the middle of the story, the thoughtful ending. In this book, it was the first page that hit me and let me know that I would like this book.


Aneel is happy to have his grandparents stay with them in their home in the US. He loves that he is learning new things such as standing on his head and the lotus-sit, while his grandmother cooks such mouth-watering, tasty dishes that transformed the smell of home for Aneel.


Most of all, Aneel loved the stories his grandfather tells him – of a time long gone in a faraway village when his Dada-ji was a much younger lad filled with the power of the tiger – able to tame water buffalos, tie cobras in twisty knots and spin three huge elephants by their tails. Whenever Aneel would ask his Dada-ji what made him able to do these mighty feats, he would always answer that it was Badi-ma’s delicious hot, hot roti that is famous all across the land such that people would travel miles and swim rivers just to have a whiff of this delicacy:


And so the well-meaning Aneel asked the rest of the family members to make his Dada-ji his power-inducing roti – only to be rebuffed at every turn. Not easily foiled, he now took it upon himself to make his Dada-ji the hot, hot roti. Will this young boy succeed? Will he be able to be able to get his Dada-ji to recapture the sensation of being one with the elements and have that essence of the tiger yet again?


One of the reasons why we are having this particular theme is because of stories like these: to highlight that special bond between grandparent and young child, to portray the generations that melt away with the “ghee on the hot, hot tavva pan”, for tall tales and courageous stories, and for glowing art like the one done here by Ken Min that provided texture and colour to this beautiful tale.

Grandpa GreenIMG_0203

Written and Illustrated by: Lane Smith
Published by: Roaring Brook Press, 2011
Book borrowed from Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

In this picturebook, Lane Smith has managed to provide a timelessly magical tribute to his own grandfather through his luminous art and glowing love made manifest through the greens, the bursting topiaries, the trees.


Told in sparse text, Lane Smith tells the story of a man who was born such a long time ago, it happened “before computers or cell phones or television.” He managed to pull back time, sculpt it into grassy boughs and shapely creatures to share little details from his grandfather’s childhood – from chicken pox to stolen kisses


to favourite bedtime reads:


to his time as a soldier during the war:


Smith has managed to transform his grandfather into a man that can be loved by any reader, such that he now belongs to everyone: a beloved Grandpa Green to any child, tweener, adult who is fortunate enough to read this book. The fact that it is written with very few words and such lovingly-crafted, ingeniously-woven images make it even more effective, because one can sense the enormous love in the detail. A book to be held, treasured, and loved through the ages.

Currently Reading…

I am grateful that despite the frenzy that is the previous week, I was able to finish reading Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere (which I shall be featuring very soon) and Neil Gaiman’s World’s EndUnfortunately, very little progress with Dan Brown’s Inferno, although I do try reading a few pages every night.


I have also started reading All The Bright Places by Jennifer Nielsen. A friend gave me her ARC and I thought that it would be perfect for our current reading theme:


and will also begin reading Neil Gaiman’s The Kindly Ones, the 9th book in the Sandman series.



Grandpa Green: Caldecott Honor Book, Capitol Choices Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens, Vermont Red Clover Children’s Choice Award Master List, American Library Association Notable Children’s Books, GA Picture Storybook Award ML, Nautilus Book Award – Silver, ALA Notable Children’s Books, Vermont Red Clover Children’s Choice A ML

Hot Hot Roti for Dada-Ji: Best Children’s Books of the Year
Bank Street College of Education

#AWBReads2015 Challenge Update: 30 and 31 of 35

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

10 comments on “[Monday Reading] Grandpas and Dada-jis in Picturebooks

  1. Some of those kids books look gorgeous. I’m sure I read little other than Enid Blyton when I was a youngster!!!


  2. I can’t wait for more books from Lane Smith! His upcoming middle reader should be interesting!


  3. I actually liked Saving Kabul Corner better than Shooting Kabul. Maybe it was the mystery part. Looks like you have a lot of good things going on!


  4. I think I’d better pay more attention to the award-winning challenge-am very behind, & I know that I’ve read some! The first book, Hot-Hot Roti for Dada-Ji looks delightful, story & illustrations too. I know the Grandpa Green book, so cute, Myra. What unique ideas Lane Smith offers us. Thank you!


  5. Hot Hot Roti for Dada-Ji looks delightful. What enticing illustrations!


  6. You’ve been reading some great books Myra! Grandpa Green looks like a delightful book. Hot Hot Roti for Dada-ji looks like a book that can be used for many purposes.


  7. crbrunelle

    I really enjoy finding great grandparent books. Grandpa Green is one of my favorites. I also appreciate My Dadima Wears a Sari and a new favorite is Last Stop on Market Street.


  8. I love Grandpa Green. I own it and must read it every few months just because it is so so special.


  9. I fell in love with the cover of Grandpa Green the first time I saw it, and then I kind of forgot about it. Your post has reminded me– so now I have it on my “to read” list. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂


  10. Pingback: [BHE 183] Singapore Library Warehouse Sale 2015 | Gathering Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: