Schroeder's reminiscences of childhood days spent at her grandmother's house make a wonderful picture book. Whether it is the memory of playing in the enclosed front porch during a rain storm while Gramma works at her sewing machine, or Gramma tucking kids in at the end of another long summer day, the memories are full of love and warmth. Anyone lucky enough to have a grandmother like Gramma Darling will feel an instant kinship with the remembrance of delicious desserts made with lots of love or the safety of performing a song or skit knowing that she is always there to applaud. The circular nature of the story is a reflection of the "circle of life," with the book opening on the scene of a grandchild just learning to walk across the rug and into Gramma's arms, and closing with a similar scene -but this time with a great-grandchild toddling into those arms.
Doron Ben-Ami's illustrations are so clear and crisp readers may double-check to make sure that they are not really looking at photographs. The happiness on the children's faces as they explore in Gramma's yard, the pleasure on her face as she watches them eat her homemade pie, and the love beaming from her smile as she waits for those hesitant steps to carry her grandchild across the room and into her arms are all captured perfectly. This is a book that will become a family tradition among readers. And what's better than snuggling in a grandmother's lap for a read-aloud? (Although offering the recipe for Gramma Darling's Chocolaty Cherry Cake is also very nice.)
I received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.