Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Battle of the Grandmas A Delightful Children's Book by Anthonette Klinkerman; Illustrated by Justin Acquavella

There once was a little girl 
who couldn't live in a shoe;
She had so many relatives
she didn't know what to do!

There were grandmas, grandpas,
cousins, uncles and aunts,
To visit her they had to line up
for their chance.


Battle of the Grandmas

By Anthonette Klinkerman
Illustrated by Justin Acquavella

What a delightful children's book! And in today's world, a very much needed story is told!  This is based upon a true story. There really are three grandmas who were battling! And the battle really was ended by the real little girl that was caught right in the middle! How ironic: The little child shall lead them.

Six grandparents she had across state far and wide;
Even one in the desert
and one by beach tide.

One day in the mail 
three packages came;
A book from each grandma,
but all books the same!
So the battle to find the best presents was on;
The grandmas searched from dusk until dawn.
They pointed and clicked, shopped 'til they dropped,
Their quest was important - they couldn't be stopped!

One grandma scoffed, 
one sighed, and one frowned.
They each wanted her gift 
to be the best one in town.

Each of Madelyn's grandmothers had sent her a gift but, everybody was very surprised when it turned out to be exactly the same one! I'll bet that's when the word "mortified" was created, because each of the grandmothers wanted her gift to be the best. Did they equate their gift with how much love they would receive, and maybe make them the favorite? Because, you see, that's when the battle began!

Before going any further, I must comment on the outstanding work of the illustrator. Justin Acquavella is a senior in high school! His work is already professional quality...but so much more, that I noticed immediately. The detail by this young man is fantastic and each illustration that supports the story is filled with appropriate items that effectively helps tell what is happening. But the most amazing thing is the talent Justin has in facial expressions--even on toys! Eyes are expressive in portraying feelings. For example, when each of the grandmas realized that they had given the exact same book...their pictures said it too! One scoffed, one sighed, and one frowned! Now I'm a nonverbal communication fan, so I enthusiastically claim that, for this type of book, it has the best illustrations I've seen. Bravo for the illustrations and illustrator... (See his picture above on back cover.)

The story itself is a perfect use for rhyming and it has been done with fun and panache. In fact, the author has already proven (see video below on her first writing, and educational activities,  for Courtesy Bootcamp!) to be excellent...

This 34-page full color book is simply adorable. It has already won awards and is making a positive statement to both children and their many relatives and friends. This is a must for your children's library, in my opinion...


About the Author

Anthonette Klinkerman is a public school English teacher and public speaker. She teaches English at a night high-school for at-risk teens, and conducts her award-winning mobile etiquette school, Courtesy Bootcamp, for businesses during the days. Battle of the Grandmas was written first, but actually is her second published book. Her first book is titled Courtesy Bootcamp: a not-so-gentle reminder to live by The Golden Rule. Married in 1999, Klinkerman was born in San Diego, California, and moved to Colorado in 2000. Her husband, also a teacher, was raised in Littleton, CO. Their one daughter is working on her art skills daily in preparation for mommy’s next book. The family does their best to keep up the visits with the relatives from in-town to those in California over breaks from school. When she is not speaking, writing, or grading papers, Klinkerman enjoys reading, golfing, hiking, and skiing, and exploring the restaurant scene to satisfy her inner “foodie”.

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