Grandparents Day (September 9) in the U.S., along with a family cross-country move that will separate two adored young grandchildren from their grandparents, started me thinking about the role of parents’ parents in the multicultural families, where children are sometimes separated even farther from this precious family resource. Aline’s review of grandparent stories on PaperTigers offers a great survey of relevant resources. Regan McMahon’s San Francisco Chronicle review of Grandma stories celebrates maternal grandmothers and cross-cultural grandparenting.
The Philippines has a sort of mythical national grandmother in Lola Basyang, the early 20th-century creation of writer Severino Reyes. Christine Bellen, a present-day authority on Reyes’ work, received a Special Citation from the Manila Critics Circle for her ten-title English series retelling the stories. Here’s an interview with her by Anvil Publishing, which publishes her series in Tagalog and English. The Best of Lola Basyang is a 1997 selection of the tales in English by Tanahan Press. For more books from and about the Philippines, San Francisco’s Arkipelago Books is a great resource. Click here for their .pdf online catalog and scroll down to page 14 to browse their children’s book list.
Books are no substitute for the warmth of a grandparent’s lap, but they can bring that experience to life, across generations and cultures.