Review of Grandma Lives in Us

Book Review by Christine van Reeuwyk from Peninsula News Review:

Adelina Gotera’s first children’s book, Grandma Lives in Us hits a trifecta of giving.
She sees a missing niche for stories on death, wants to help children in the Phillipines enjoy play, and creates books where parent’s can cast their child as the lead.

Gotera was inspired to write the book after watching her daughter deal with a death in the family. The adult characters in the story are modeled after her siblings, and the first scene in the tale actually happened.

“It just came to my mind right after my mother’s death in 2009,” she explained. After working with kids for more than a decade, Gotera feels there’s little in the way of a children’s books dealing with death. “I really would like to help,” she explained. “I felt I should write something about it … venture into this topic.”

In Grandma Lives in Us, a young child named Simone finds peace after the death of her grandmother. She learns a little about how, as the title suggests, Grandma lives on through her family, from gentle gestures, to her scent.

The illustrations are by artist Vickie Vilbuena;  partial proceeds of the book will go to children’s charities in the Phillipines, Gotera said. The early childhood education worker visited her ailing mother in the Phillipines prior to the elder woman’s death in 2009. Working throughout the school year at StrongStart at Brentwood elementary school — a portable stuffed with bright toys, painting tables and play-dough — Gotera was struck by the contrast of the conditions children play in overseas.“A lot of children do not have spaces to play. They play in the streets, no toys,” she said. “I want to make a difference.”

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