Nana, Nenek & Nina

Nana, Nenek & Nina
Age Range
Release Date
August 09, 2022
Buy This Book
Nina loves visiting her two faraway grandmas—one in Malaysia and one in England. Spot the similarities and differences between their homes in this cozy and beautifully illustrated picture book!

Nina lives in San Francisco with her parents, and she loves visiting her two grandmas across the world. Follow Nina as her two trips unfold side by side: Young readers will love poring over the details of what is the same and what is different at Nana’s home in England and at Nenek’s home in Malaysia. In each place, Nina wears different clothes, plays different games, and eats different food. But so much about visiting Nana and Nenek is the same, from warm hugs at the airport to beach days and bedtime snuggles. Nina is equally at home across the world in Malaysia or England, and both of her grandmas love her to California and back.

Editor review

1 review
Over the Ocean to Grandmothers' Houses We Go
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Nina lives in San Francisco, but her father's mother lives in England, and her mother's mother lives in Malaysia. Sometimes, the family goes to visit the grandmothers, and Nina points out the differences in their lives in opposing two page spreads. At Nana's house, she needs warm jumpers and wellies, but at Nenek's she only needs a light dress and selipar (flip flops). Nana drives to the high street to pop into the shops for ketchup, while Nenek takes her motor bike to the open market for tea in a plastic bag! No matter what life is like in the different countries, one thing remains clear: Nina's grandmothers love her and are glad when she is able to visit and spend time with them.
Good Points
The water colored ink drawings are delightful, and I could spend hours poring over the pages, looking for Nina's small stuffed dinosaur hiding in the background, or gor Nana's little dog. The colors change for subtly for each environment-- a bit more green and gray for England, and a bit more yellow and red for Malaysia. It's clever how the sentences will go across the page divide when describing the two homes, and serves to show the reader that while the grandmothers are far apart, they still have many similarities.

Nina's experiences are based on the author's own growing up in similar circumstances, so there are lots of details that I wouldn't have thought of. Some Malaysian and British words and phrases are used, but the meanings are usually clear taken in context.

I'm a huge fan of books that show strong emotional connections between grandchildren and grandparents, and since many children live far away from theirs, it's good to show that connections can still remain. Sometimes grandparents are close, as in Holler's Finding Moose and Iwai's Gigi and Ojiji, but books like Courtney's Poppy's House and de Regil's Something about Grandma detail the travel that is involved in visits and the differences that children find in their grandparents' environments. Now I want some tea in a plastic bag with a straw!
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