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Friday, November 7, 2014

Nana in the City, written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo. Claron Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Thomas Allen & Son. 2014. $21.99 ages 3 and up

"I love my nana,

but I don't love the city.

The city is busy.

The city is loud.

The city is filled with
scary things."

Visiting Nana is busy, and loud, and scary! Her grandson is not convinced that his nana should be living in New York City for all those reasons. When he arrives, he is welcomed with a big hug and a nana who is assured and keen to show him her home. As they travel the streets together, he becomes ever more cognizant of the many sights and sounds that make him feel the way he does. And there are many...streets full of honking taxis, the subway, people everywhere, construction zones, traffic police, graffiti, food carts, the homeless asking for monetary help, and huge buildings!

Nana loves the city, and everything about it as she explains while they share tea and cookies in her apartment. As she tucks him into bed, she makes a promise for new and exciting adventures in the morning. While her grandson sleeps, his nana works at something special for him to wear as they travel the city streets. It's a brilliant red cape and it makes him feel very brave.

Off they go! Their day is filled with the delights of the park and its many visitors, the music of the streets, and all those many things that could be scary - but aren't. There is much to do, and to enjoy!
Sharing his cape to keep his nana brave is his parting gift, and an assurance that he will be back to visit again.

The brilliant watercolor images will have readers falling in love with the urban life that Nana so loves, and bring assurance that feelings of concern can change with understanding and time. I love it! I can only hope that future visits with my brand new granddaughter will afford me the chance to show her the small prairie city that I so love. A freshly sewn cape??? Not so sure...but old dogs can learn new tricks, right?


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