Grandma Waves with Her Heart
by Austine Royer Smith
LitFire Publishing

"'Grandma, were you waving with your hand?' 'No,' Grandma said, 'I was waving with my heart.'"

A new grandmother looks joyfully at her newborn grandson, whom she nicknames Rooster, and wonders how she will help raise a boy when she has only daughters and granddaughters. She is comforted knowing that boys are born knowing how to be boys. She spends quality time with the boy in his childhood, pulling him in a wagon, pushing him in a stroller, and giving him baths. As he gets older, she takes him to ball games, school functions, and church. When he gets to high school, he does not have much extra time for his grandmother, but he does ride motorcycles with her. When he asks throughout his life if she waves to him with her hand, she responds that while she doesn’t do that, she does wave with her heart.

Readers will find this book fun and may feel a bit wistful, as is common with the idea of children getting older, gaining more independence, and needing their caregivers less. They will note the strength of the characters’ relationship in the instance of Rooster inviting Grandma to play baseball with him. The author’s detailed descriptions also allow the reader to vividly picture the scenes of the book, such as the “big yellow school bus” and the “big plate-glass window of the newborn nursery at the hospital.” Smith weaves a tale of a deep lifetime bond between grandmother and grandson in this happy story. When Rooster has his own children, the grandmother continues to spend quality time and plays games with them, showing both the circle of life and the love which continues from one generation to the next.

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