“Where is my Grandma?” is a story about Neha, a 5 year-old second generation Indian-American girl, who is trying to understand why her Grandmother lives so far away. In her attempt to understand the distance that separates her from her extended family, she explores her own complex identity: She expresses her love for America at the same time that she tells the reader how much she yearns to see her Grandmother, to take her to the park, to bake cookies with her. Neha’s parents are amused by her creative plans to reunite with her Grandmother, and they try to satisfy her questions about why she is so far from the family that she so misses.
“Rachel and Sunny are my best friends. Today, they have come to the park with their grandmas.
….Why can’t my grandma come to the park with me?
Why can’t she push my swing and build castles with me?”
Neha’s character is a part of many American households. It is the story of a perceptive and sensitive young child caught between two cultures, and of parents trying to help her craft an identity that is whole and complete. This book touches on issues not typically addressed in picture books, and fills an important void in children’s literature for this group of children who are particularly vulnerable to feeling marginalized and different.
Suggestions for Use/Notes to care takers:
All KidzBelong Books are meant to be used as a starting point of discussion, between the child and caregiver, around topics of ethnicity, identity, culture, family and self esteem.
The story of Neha has been used by teachers and caretakers to also learn basic fundamentals such as geography, distance, measurements, means of transportation and additionally has been used to start a discussion around cultural and ethnic diversity, understanding the family tree, values around family and friendship, issues of bullying, cultural marginalization, issues around self-esteem and social integration.
These fundamentals can be extended to include all children and not only those coming from immigrant backgrounds.