Friday, April 15, 2016

PPBF: A Morning With Grandpa

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

A Morning With Grandpa, by Sylvia Liu and Christina Forshay
A Morning With Grandpa
Written by Sylvia Liu
Illustrated by Christina Forshay
Lee & Low,  Release date May 1, 2016
Ages 5-8
Disclaimer: I requested an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I have not received any compensation.

Grandparents, multicultural, health

Mei Mei watched Grandpa dance slowly among the flowers in the garden. He moved like a giant bird stalking through a marsh. His arms swayed like reeds in the wind.

(From the publisher's catalog)
Mei Mei's grandpa is practicing tai chi in the garden, and Mei Mei is eager to join in. As Gong Gong tries to teach her the slow, graceful movements, Mei Mei enthusiastically does them with her own flair. Then Mei Mei takes a turn trying to teach Gong Gong the yoga she learned in school.  Will Gong Gong be able to master the stretchy, bendy poses? Winner of the Lee & Low's New Voices Award, A Morning With Grandpa celebrates, with lively spirit, and humor, the special bond between grandparent and grandchild and the joy of learning new things together. Extensive backmatter includes instruction in Tai Chi and yoga moves and positions.

What I Love:
If you are a part of any online kidlit groups, you know Sylvia Liu is generous to the community and dedicated to learning her craft, so I was excited to review her first book and add it to the Perfect Picture Book Friday library. I love the way this story is put together and the layered elements of the relationship, humor, and educational value. The author weaves beautiful word pictures relating to elements of nature, just as Tai Chi and Yoga do. Her liberal use of onomatopoeia makes this book fun to read aloud.
Christina Forshay's light-filled illustrations add the perfect touch to this story, by turns serene and silly. Her color palette is harmonious, but filled with bright color choices. I especially liked the recurring red Japanese Maple leaf to tie the spreads together.
I will say, I hope the rather generic title doesn't allow this sweet book to get lost on the shelves.


This and other images available at FitnessgymYoga
1. Sylvia and her cohorts have created KidLit411. Their informational site replaces the corkboard and calendar in my studio, keeping track of all the events happening in the community. Plus, they're just really nice.
2. Although they are taking a hiatus, Christina and her fellow illustrators provide oodles of useful tips for children's books on their group blog, SimplyMessingAbout.
3. Look for a local Tai Chi class  or grab an instructional dvd from Netflix. World Tai Chi and Ideafit offer some tips specifically for kids.
4. Gong Gong is Chinese for grandpa. Want to learn more names for grandfathers around the world? In different Languages  has charts for 8 different sub-continents.
5. Make simple pipe cleaner stick men in various yoga poses or try crafting the more complicated ones from Raising Creative Hearts.
6. is a great resource for connecting with the older generations in your kids' lives.
7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Patricia
Reviewed by Stacy

Reviewed by Joanna
Reviewed by Joanne

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.


  1. What a lovely review! Thanks for the heads up on this title. I'm always on the hunt for what I call "Positive Aging picture books" to review at A is for Aging. Sometime back I found Crouching Tiger, a grandpa teaches Tai chi to his grandson.

    1. Wow. Crouching Tiger looks like a cool book. Thanks for including the link. You offer lots of other good selections too. Thanks.

  2. Yay for Sylvia and Christina! Can't wait to get my copy!

    1. I'm a fan of theirs. It is a truly beautiful book. It wasn't supposed to be available until next month. Lucky us, it's out now!

  3. I hope this book ends up in my local library. The opening and topic look amazing! I love the cover art too. Excellent job to both author and illustrator!

    1. I love the gentle playfulness of this book. I hope you will too! Thanks.

  4. Can't wait to read it. Love the concept.

    1. It's a great odea and well executed. I'm so glad to see active grandparents in picturebooks. Thanks.

  5. Can't wait to read it. Love the concept.

  6. Aw...I love the idea of a girl and her grandpa learning together!

    1. I think this book is going to be a big hit. Thanks.

  7. I'm not sure why I didn't see this before, but thanks for picking this book and the nice review!

    1. You're welcome. I was familiar with your writing from contests and stuff, so I knew your book would be a delight, but you really raised the bar. Love, love, loved it!


Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!