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Groundwood Books

Grandmother’s Visit

Written by Betty Quan • Illustrated by Carmen Mok

For students in grades K - 2 | Published September 01, 2018 | ISBN 9781554989546
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Cover of Grandmother’s Visit

Regular price $17.95 CAD

32 pages | 9.5 in × 8.625 in
Print Format

About this book

Grandmother’s Visit

Betty Quan • Carmen Mok

Grace says goodbye to Grandmother in this touching book about love and loss.

Grandmother lives with Grace’s family. She teaches her how to measure water for rice. She tells her stories about growing up in China and together they savor the flavors of her childhood. Grandmother says goodbye when she drops Grace off at school every morning and hello when she picks her up at the end of the day.

Suddenly, Grandmother stops walking Grace to and from school, and the door to her room stays closed. Father comes home early to make dinner, but the rice bowls stay full. One day, Grandmother’s room is empty. And soon after, she is buried. After the funeral, Grace’s mom turns on all the outside lights so that Grandmother’s spirit can find its way home for one final goodbye.

Carmen Mok’s gentle illustrations show the love between a child and her grandmother in this story that will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one. Betty Quan’s picture-book debut is haunting yet hopeful.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.

Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

>Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

About the Creators

Betty Quan

BETTY QUAN is a writer for children’s television programs, including the Discovery Kids production Doki. She wrote Mother Tongue, which was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. She also adapted Paul Yee’s book Ghost Train for the stage. This is her first picture book. She lives in Toronto.

Carmen Mok

Carmen Mok is a studio-art graduate of the University of Waterloo and a craft and design graduate of Sheridan College. She illustrated Violet Shrink by Christine Baldacchino and Grandmother’s Visit by Betty Quan, which was named an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Picture Book Honor title. It was also a finalist for the IODE Ontario Jean Throop Book Award and an Ontario Library Association Best Bets Honourable Mention. Carmen’s other books include A Stopwatch from Grampa by Loretta Garbutt and Cone Cat by Sarah Howden. She lives in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Awards and Praise

Grandmother's Visit by Betty Quan, illustrated by Carmen Mok

“Quan’s words and Mok’s pictures together create a luminous reflection of how children experience grief and loss.” — Quill & Quire, starred review

This sweet and gentle story about losing a loved one is emotionally lovely … Kirkus Reviews

Soft, digitally painted illustrations complement and add to this poignant story, which together capture the comfort of closure, tradition, and memory. This is a wistful, tender story recommended for children who are confronting the loss or imminent loss of a loved one. School Library Journal

Waiting for Sophie by Sarah Ellis, illustrated by Carmen Mok:

“[A] down-to-earth, sweet but never mushy story. The accompanying illustrations have a simple, gentle quality that neatly matches the story.” Kirkus Reviews

“Carmen Mok, who has many picturebook and magazine credits to her name, has graced the pages with some charming digitally-created art with the look of watercolours. … Highly Recommended.” CM Magazine

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