HomeAll postsWhat do you call your grandma? by Ashleigh Barton and Marina Heiduczek

What do you call your grandma? by Ashleigh Barton and Marina Heiduczek

A review by Nalini Haynes

What Do You Call Your Grandma? uses rhyming poetry, with one verse on each illustrated double page dedicated to one grandma.

We’re treated to a quick trip around the globe, with imagery reflecting various cultures and diverse grandmas. One even corresponds via snail mail with her grandchild, a reflection of our contemporary global and itinerant population.

Minority representation

The very concept of What Do You Call Your Grandma? embeds positive representation of minority cultures. Children and grandmas of various colors – not always “matching” – wear a variety of clothes, partake of different foods and engage in various activities.

There isn’t any overtly trans or LIA+ (as in LGBTQIA+) grandma but nor is there any overt exclusion of any grandmas either. Every pairing is one grandma to one grandchild and no other relatives, thus interpretation is as diverse as readership.


There is a glossary of Grandmas in the back, with two lines dedicated to each Grandma explaining where the name originates.


How does one conclude such a story? Why, with a balloon-basket full of children floating down towards their grandmas with their loving arms outstretched.

The verdict

This delightful hardcover book will entrance little readers. Illustrations are vibrant, detailed and evocative. I highly recommend What Do You Call Your Grandma? For all young readers and pre-readers to share with carers.

There is a corresponding book, What Do You Call Your Grandpa? by the same creators.

Another excellent “issues” poetry book for children is Cyclone by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley.

Book details

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9780733340840
ISBN10: 0733340849
Imprint: ABC Books AU (HarperCollins Australia)
Released: 17/03/2021
Format: hardcover, 32 pages
Age: From 4 years
Category: JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Multigenerational

What do you call your grandma? Pictures of grandmas with children adorn the title

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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