My Grandma’s the Mayor. Written by Marjorie White Pellegrino. Illustrated by John Lund. Magination Press (part of the American Psychological Association), 2000. 32 pages. Publisher recommends for ages 6-12. ISBN: 9781557986085.
My Grandma’s the Mayor is a nice introduction to what it means to be a Mayor. Annie’s grandmother must first run for mayor. Annie helps by handing out flyers and putting up signs. Once Annie’s grandmother is elected, she becomes responsible for the problems of every person who is unhappy with the town. She needs to listen to those problems and try to find solutions.
My Grandma’s the Mayor is also a wonderful picture of how hard it is for Annie to share her grandmother with the town. Her grandmother no longer has the time she used to have to spend with Annie. Annie misses her grandmother and is jealous of the time the townspeople demand of her grandmother.
Finally, My Grandma’s the Mayor is a great testimonial to helping people. When tragedy strikes right across the street from Annie’s grandmother’s house, Annie notices how her grandmother cares for those who have been traumatized. After watching her grandmother, Annie thinks of a way that she can help. By helping she comes to understand why her grandmother enjoys being Mayor. She understands that helping people makes the helper feel better. She still wishes for more alone time with her grandmother, but she’s also proud of her grandmother.
The text is very straightforward and the illustrations are, according to the back cover of the book, in the “classic American storybook style.”
As I watch volunteers from Habitat for Humanity build a house in back of my house, I realize how this book resonates even with adults. Helping people brings with it a powerful reward.