Does Grandma Have a Mustache? is a collection of short poems aimed at children, but with some funny grown up elements too. Case in point the headline poem “Does Grandma have a mustache?” is not because the child spots one on his Grandma but rather because Grandpa has one that makes him curious. Grandpa warns “Your careful observation is much to be commended. But let’s not ask your Grandma. She’d surely be offended!” [parenting side note: good example of praising the effort and process]. There are a few other poems that brought some chuckles, in particular the ode to the Pacifier (#truth) but the poem about stepping on a Bee, was my least favorite. Easy to read but full of inaccuracies (male bees, drones, don’t sting; when a bee stings you, she dies). However, this is just my own hang-up as a beekeeper. Rita Ann Fleming clearly has penned poems that are a meaningful reflection of her family and experience, as evident in words and topics. The book is organized smartly by themes, including school, adventures, family, and holidays. The illustrations are subtle, highlighting the written words. A few feature a little diversity, something I would always like to see more of in children’s books.
Compared to other children’s poetry books, this book’s style has less pattern and sequence to wording in order to foster early language skills and connection between baby and reader. The poems are better suited to be read by a child who can see themselves in the words, allowing for social and emotional development. I think everyone will find at least a pair of poems that resonates with their family. Thank you to the author for sharing her experiences and providing inspiration to capture memories in this manner.
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