Official Review: Make Grandma Great Again by Robin R. Rabii

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
User avatar
Laura Lee
Posts: 974
Joined: 18 Nov 2019, 08:12
Currently Reading: The Vanishing
Bookshelf Size: 94
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-laura-lee.html
Latest Review: Make Grandma Great Again by Robin R. Rabii

Official Review: Make Grandma Great Again by Robin R. Rabii

Post by Laura Lee »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Make Grandma Great Again" by Robin R. Rabii.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Make Grandma Great Again, by Robin Rabii, shares one child’s quest to help her widowed grandmother find happiness again with a “compan-yun” that wears matching socks, remembers to take his medicine, and can tie his own shoes. Together with her friends, Susie and Tall Jenny, Amy sets in motion a plan that is ultimately successful, despite some unexpected twists and turns.

Rabii’s charming story has surprising depths that completely captivated me. The story teaches respect, acceptance, and tolerance for diversity. The best part is how this message is skillfully interwoven throughout. There is no preaching here. For example, in the illustrations, Amy’s mom is taller than her dad. It’s not what we’re used to seeing, but nothing is made of it. It is accepted as normal and the interaction between the parents is warm, loving, and playful.

Other harmful stereotypes are challenged throughout the story while bridges are built to acceptance. Tall Jenny is African-American, but her brown eyes are the same shade of brown as blonde Susie’s; her hair is actually brown, rather than black, and she is extremely intelligent. When the family goes to church, a throwaway line casually reveals the pastor is female. When Grandma ends up in the hospital, the nurse who is so kind to her is male. Finally, when Grandma does find a companion to bring her joy and romance, he is of a different race. The truly amazing testimony to Rabii’s skill as a writer, and what I liked best, is that none of these elements felt contrived or forced. Amy accepts them as natural, so the reader does, too.

The story brims with gentle humor; it’s told from Amy’s perspective, with a child’s innocent ignorance of certain adult words and situations. It takes an accomplished author to write a child’s “voice” convincingly but Rabii does it with such adept skill, it sounds perfectly natural. There is no over-writing of the character, making her sound artificially foolish or naïve. Scattered throughout the book are little nuggets of wisdom, well-stated life lessons that Amy learns from the important adults in her life.

One final point worth mentioning: most children’s books anymore have illustrations that are computer-generated. That’s fine, but there is a certain generic look to such illustrations that is easily recognizable. In Make Grandma Great Again, the artwork, like the text, is superior, being original artwork by Phillipa Haskins. It really contributes to the quality of the finished product.

There is so much to like in this delightful book that it breaks my heart I am required to count off a star due to the number of errors. Understand, however, that is the only reason for the loss of one star. There were no misspelled or grammatical errors. Aside from a single missing word, the rest of the errors had solely to do with the incorrect placement of quotation marks. Due to the sheer number of these errors, I can only award the book three out of four stars, but in every other respect it fully deserves four out of four stars.

If there is a child in your life, check out Make Grandma Great Again. It is, without exception, the best children’s book I’ve read in a long time.

******
Make Grandma Great Again
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Laura Lee

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

User avatar
Drianie
Posts: 80
Joined: 03 Jul 2020, 05:06
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 22
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-drianie.html
Latest Review: Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R.F. Kristi

Post by Drianie »

I enjoyed reading your detailed review! You convinced me, and I will look out for this book and give it a read. Kudos to the author for the brilliant writing and for skillfully incorporating these important messages.

User avatar
Kevivas03
Posts: 189
Joined: 03 Jun 2020, 04:46
2019 Reading Goal: 60
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 20
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kevivas03.html
Latest Review: How To Be Successful by M. Curtis McCoy

Post by Kevivas03 »

A book that challenges sterotypes is what the world needs in these trying times. Our differences are what makes us beautiful!

User avatar
VVaishali
Posts: 100
Joined: 01 Jul 2020, 10:07
Favorite Book: Big Magic
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 56
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vvaishali.html
Latest Review: How To Be Successful by M. Curtis McCoy

Post by VVaishali »

This book seems to be amazing. I loved the fact that the messages are skillfully woven. Thanks for sharing such an insightful and detailed review. Great job!

User avatar
diana lowery
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1090
Joined: 11 Feb 2019, 07:39
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 60
Currently Reading: Lord of the Flies
Bookshelf Size: 187
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-diana-lowery.html
Latest Review: House of Hoops by June Gillam
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by diana lowery »

Those dratted quotation marks! This books sounds delightful, and I enjoyed reading your analysis. The author sounds like an amazing person in spite of her improper punctuation.

User avatar
Laura Lee
Posts: 974
Joined: 18 Nov 2019, 08:12
Currently Reading: The Vanishing
Bookshelf Size: 94
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-laura-lee.html
Latest Review: Make Grandma Great Again by Robin R. Rabii

Post by Laura Lee »

Drianie wrote:
16 Oct 2020, 01:16
I enjoyed reading your detailed review! You convinced me, and I will look out for this book and give it a read. Kudos to the author for the brilliant writing and for skillfully incorporating these important messages.
I'm so glad! It really is a great book. Thanks for your comment! :D
Laura Lee

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

User avatar
Laura Lee
Posts: 974
Joined: 18 Nov 2019, 08:12
Currently Reading: The Vanishing
Bookshelf Size: 94
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-laura-lee.html
Latest Review: Make Grandma Great Again by Robin R. Rabii

Post by Laura Lee »

Kevivas03 wrote:
16 Oct 2020, 02:47
A book that challenges sterotypes is what the world needs in these trying times. Our differences are what makes us beautiful!
I agree! And a book that teaches children the values of tolerance and acceptance is so important. Thanks for your comment! :)
Laura Lee

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

User avatar
Laura Lee
Posts: 974
Joined: 18 Nov 2019, 08:12
Currently Reading: The Vanishing
Bookshelf Size: 94
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-laura-lee.html
Latest Review: Make Grandma Great Again by Robin R. Rabii

Post by Laura Lee »

VVaishali wrote:
16 Oct 2020, 09:24
This book seems to be amazing. I loved the fact that the messages are skillfully woven. Thanks for sharing such an insightful and detailed review. Great job!
Thanks for your comment! It really is an amazing book.
Laura Lee

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

User avatar
Laura Lee
Posts: 974
Joined: 18 Nov 2019, 08:12
Currently Reading: The Vanishing
Bookshelf Size: 94
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-laura-lee.html
Latest Review: Make Grandma Great Again by Robin R. Rabii

Post by Laura Lee »

diana lowery wrote:
16 Oct 2020, 10:16
Those dratted quotation marks! This books sounds delightful, and I enjoyed reading your analysis. The author sounds like an amazing person in spite of her improper punctuation.
I have thought that, too, that the author must be an amazing person to have such skill and insight. He has actually written a number of books for adults. I don't know if he's written others for kids, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Thank you for your comment!
Laura Lee

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

User avatar
fancyjg
Posts: 27
Joined: 16 Sep 2020, 02:53
Currently Reading: Worldlines
Bookshelf Size: 38
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-fancyjg.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: Someone Else's End by Matthew Tysz

Post by fancyjg »

Your review is intriguing. The cover of the book and title of the book are quite interesting and funny too. I love how you wrote a detailed review and the messages passed of respect, acceptance, and tolerance for diversity. The old old generation valued it so much and we should emulate them. Congratulations to the author for writing the book.

User avatar
Laura Lee
Posts: 974
Joined: 18 Nov 2019, 08:12
Currently Reading: The Vanishing
Bookshelf Size: 94
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-laura-lee.html
Latest Review: Make Grandma Great Again by Robin R. Rabii

Post by Laura Lee »

fancyjg wrote:
16 Oct 2020, 14:26
Your review is intriguing. The cover of the book and title of the book are quite interesting and funny too. I love how you wrote a detailed review and the messages passed of respect, acceptance, and tolerance for diversity. The old old generation valued it so much and we should emulate them. Congratulations to the author for writing the book.
Thanks for your comment! It really is a very well-written, enjoyable book. :D
Laura Lee

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

User avatar
Jaci-Vera
Posts: 3
Joined: 16 Oct 2020, 04:07
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 2

Post by Jaci-Vera »

Love this book, it's making me love the differences between me and my family
Being different isn't a bad thing that's what I learned to this book

User avatar
MsH2k
Member of the Month
Posts: 1492
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading: All In Divine Order
Bookshelf Size: 151
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-msh2k.html
Latest Review: The Robin That Could Not Sing by Raymond Dunn

Post by MsH2k »

I love the subtle diversity and inclusivity in this story. That’s how life should be!

Thank you for your thorough review, Laura Lee.
Just because someone may not be able to handle the truth doesn’t give you a pass to lie to them.
#229
Last Words From Above (Jeremy Brown)

_claudi_
Posts: 136
Joined: 17 Oct 2020, 13:18
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 11

Post by _claudi_ »

The book shows that being different is not such a bad thing as it introduces different characters with some of different ethnic background. Teaching kids this values at a young age is important so they won't be easily influenced by external factors when they are grown up. Good review all together.

User avatar
Luluwa79
Posts: 95
Joined: 27 Jul 2020, 08:35
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-luluwa79.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: Someone Else's End by Matthew Tysz

Post by Luluwa79 »

Amy's concern for her grandma is just so touching and heartwarming. Most times, i wonder how people neglect each other in difficult situations. Such a caring character that a child exhibited is a good message from the author to everyone. I would love to read this book.
Thanks for the review.

Post Reply

Return to “Children's Books”