I’ll Go and Come Back

Candlewick. Mar. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781536207170.
K-Gr 2–This lovely tribute to the child/grandparent relationship also gently honors cultural differences. A visit to India brings Jyoti to a house jumping with relatives and to a crowded city full of unfamiliar sights and sounds. Her kindly grandmother, Sita Pati, keeps her busy making designs in the courtyard with brightly colored sand, shopping in the outdoor market, playing games, and cooking chapatis. At night they sip warm milk with saffron to bring sweet dreams. The following summer, Sita Pati comes to America, where she is not used to the silence and looks lonely. Jyoti reciprocates with chalk drawing on the sidewalk, supermarket shopping, Chutes and Ladders, and making quesadillas. They drink hot cocoa for sweet dreams. Jyoti and Sita Pati say “I will go and come back” when their visits end, never “Good-bye,” in a satisfying story told with great economy. Gouache and acrylic illustrations with the grainy effect of woodcuts and wonderful attention to textile patterns, exude the mutual delight between grandparent and grandchild.
VERDICT A tender sharing of culture and empathy that bridges generations, and an essential purchase

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