MONAGHAN, Michelle C (text) Laura Wood (illus.) Garlic, Hankies and Hugs JoJo Pub, 2014 unpaged $16.99 pbk ISBN 9780987588067 SCIS 1662671
It is easy to be embarrassed when you are young but the narrator finds life a little difficult with a Greek grandmother who insists on warding off the ‘Evil Eye’ each time that she visits her. The sketches that accompany the text are very funny, particularly the little girl’s martyred expression in her grandmother’s arms. However, she still loves her Nanna who has many other lovable traits, such as being a wonderful cook of pasta, meatballs and rice puddings and in any case, she knows that Nanna will never stop doing the ritual: ‘No ifs, no ands or buts.’
Monaghan’s nanna, Lela Miconiatis, is the inspiration behind the story and there is a short biography on her and some old photos at the end of the book which is suitable for children aged four to six and their parents will enjoy it too, especially if they have a nanna like Lela.
reviewed by Katy Gerner