Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature Picture Book Honor Title
Grandmother lives with Grace’s family. She teaches her how to measure water for rice. She tells her stories about growing up in China and together they savor the flavors of her childhood. Grandmother says goodbye when she drops Grace off at school every morning and hello when she picks her up at the end of the day.
Then, Grandmother stops walking Grace to and from school, and the door to her room stays closed. Father comes home early to make dinner, but the rice bowls stay full. One day, Grandmother’s room is empty. And one day, Grandmother is buried. After the funeral, Grace’s mom turns on all the outside lights so that Grandmother’s spirit can find its way home for one final goodbye.
Carmen Mok’s gentle illustrations show the love between a child and her grandmother in this story that will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one. Betty Quan’s picture-book debut is haunting yet hopeful.
BETTY QUAN is a writer for children’s television programs, including the Discovery Kids production Doki. She wrote Mother Tongue, which was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. She also adapted Paul Yee’s book Ghost Train for the stage. This is her first picture book. She lives in Toronto.
Carmen Mok is a studio-art graduate of the University of Waterloo, and a crafts and design graduate of Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada. Her books include Waiting for Sophie by Sarah Ellis, Look at Me Now by Carol McDougall and Shanda LaRamee-Jones, and Ride the Big Machines in Winter. She recently illustrated Grandmother’s Visit by Betty Quan, which was named an Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature Picture Book Honor Title, was on the shortlist of the IODE Ontario Jean Throop Book Award and was selected for the Ontario Library Association Best Bets List. Carmen lives in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Grandmother's Visit by Betty Quan, illustrated by Carmen Mok
“Quan’s words and Mok’s pictures together create a luminous reflection of how children experience grief and loss.” — Quill & Quire, starred review
This sweet and gentle story about losing a loved one is emotionally lovely . . . Kirkus Reviews
Soft, digitally painted illustrations complement and add to this poignant story, which together capture the comfort of closure, tradition, and memory. This is a wistful, tender story recommended for children who are confronting the loss or imminent loss of a loved one. School Library Journal
Waiting for Sophie by Sarah Ellis, illustrated by Carmen Mok:
“[A] down-to-earth, sweet but never mushy story. The accompanying illustrations have a simple, gentle quality that neatly matches the story.” Kirkus Reviews
“Carmen Mok, who has many picturebook and magazine credits to her name, has graced the pages with some charming digitally-created art with the look of watercolours. … Highly Recommended.” CM Magazine