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My Grandmother Can't books and meaningful discussions

We’ve been working our way through the three Jarul Book Awards books and MY GRANDMOTHER CAN’T COOK by Indu Balachandran, illustrated by Priya Kuriyan and published by Karadi Tales gave us plenty of laughs and plenty to talk about as well. 


Before showing the children the cover of the book, we had a discussions about our grandmothers and their cooking skills. All the children were excited to share their grandmother’s specialities and the ‘special dishes’ made just for them when they went to visit/spend a day/sleepover. 

We ensured that every child had a chance to share, after all grandmothers are ever so special. 

I chose to write the names of the dishes on the board, so that it lent a visual element for children to read…not just the names of the variety of dishes, but more importantly to absorb that we all eat different kinds of foods. 

Most often there will be that one child who will declare that non-vegetarian food is yucky…in this discussion it was towards the ‘fish fry’. The non-vegetarians then feel that they must respond by sharing a ‘eww factor’ in some vegetarian dish. In discussions and sharings like this one help children to see that we all need food, we just eat different kinds of food to meet our needs. 

It helped that children also shared different ways in which they ate food that was more common to all, like dosa and idli. Some with chutney, a few with podi, while some even ate it with sugar or honey, with chicken curry or sambar.

It is important to pre-read books, and explore the possibilities within each. 

The book also offers us the opportunity to share the different terms we use to address our grandparents. 

With this discussion done, the book was revealed and it’s title gave comfort to the children whose grandmothers couldn’t quite cook up a storm. 

The children were thrilled to hear the name 'Priya Kuriyan' and remembered her as the author and illustrator of our previous Jarul Book Awards read, Beauty is Missing. 

Even humorous, fun reads can help us bring meaningful sharings into our library and our classrooms.


SEL Competencies:

Social Awareness - Perspective taking/ appreciating diversity/ respect for others.

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