Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tales of a Gambling Grandma by Dayal Kaur Khalsa

We all have memories of our grandparents (if we were lucky and they were alive long enough for us to know them) and this picture book from Tundra Books is a nice tribute to the grandmother Dayal remembers.

Grandma was born in Russia and immigrated. (My grandparents were from Czechoslovakia and did the same.) Grandma meets and marries her husband here in the states, but times are tough. So she learns how to play poker (and how to mark cards) and subsidizes the family income with her gambling earnings.

When Grandpa dies, Grandma moves in with her daughter's family in Queens and babysits her granddaughter during the day while the parents work. She shares stories of the past and knits. And she also plays canasta with the Sunshine Ladies for shiny things - and she wins them all!

This book would be a good springboard to discussion about the various immigrants in our country (how we became the melting pot in the US) and about simpler days.

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