Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 7
- Grade: k to 2
- Reading age: 4 to 7
Maya longs to see her grandmother, but when Grandma arrives from far away for a visit, she is not quite what Maya expected.
When Maya’s grandma makes a surprise visit from thousands of miles away, Maya is delighted. But her excitement doesn’t last long. When Grandma picks her up from school, she wears fancy clothes and talks too loudly. Grandma’s morning prayer bells wake Maya up, and she cooks with ingredients Maya doesn’t usually eat. Plus, Maya thinks cupcakes taste better than Grandma’s homemade sweets.
Maya and Grandma try to compromise, and on a special trip to the island Grandma even wears an “all-American” baseball cap. But when Maya rushes off to find the carousel, she loses sight of her mother, father and grandmother. She is alone in a sea of people … until she spots something bobbing above the crowd, and right away she knows how to find her way.
Saumiya Balasubramaniam’s story is an insightful and endearing portrayal of a grandparent-grandchild relationship that is evolving and deeply loving, as Maya and Grandma navigate cross-cultural contexts and generational differences. Qin Leng’s sweet, evocative illustrations complement the story and illuminate Grandma and Maya’s growing closeness.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.
Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.
Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
About the authors
Saumiya Balasubramaniam has a Masters in Computer Science and a passion for writing. She received the prestigious Bram and Bluma Appel Scholarship from the Humber School of Creative Writing. The manuscript for When I Found Grandma, her debut picture book, was a finalist in the children’s writing competition held by CANSCAIP (Canadian Society for Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Publishers) and TWUC (The Writers’ Union of Canada). She has also written essays for the Times of India and the Globe and Mail. Saumiya lives with her family in Toronto.
Qin Leng was born in Shanghai, China. At the age of five, she moved with her family to Bordeaux, France, where she spent the next four years. Soon after, she moved to Montreal, where she spent the rest of her childhood. Having been born in Asia but raised in the West, she uses both cultures as her source of inspiration. Looking at her illustrations, one can see the presence of both East and West.Qin Leng comes from a family of artists, where the visual senses have always been of the utmost importance. She grew up watching her father work with acrylics, pastel, and ink. Father and daughter often spent their days drawing side by side. Drawing first started as a hobby, but soon became a way of expression.Despite her many years of study to become a biologist, Qin decided at the age of 20 to follow the same path as her father and enrolled in the School of Cinema to study Film Animation at Concordia University. She has produced animated shorts, which were nominated in various nationa