Comments: Koutsky, Jan Dale My Grandma

Koutsky, Jan Dale. My Grandma, My PenPal. Honesdale, Penn.:Boyds Mills Press,
2002. ISBN:1-56397-118-6 $15.95
This book focuses on the love and experiences of a grandmother and a grandchild they
share in writing letters to one another throughout the years. I immediately phoned my
own grandmother to thank her for her love throughout the years after reading My
Grandma, My PenPal. In fact, I read it to my students who are the experts (ages 7-9) and
they absolutely loved it. They began telling different stories of their experiences with
their grandmothers.
I later had my students to write a friendly letter (integrating reading and writing) to their
grandmothers and many of them included ideas related to the book. Here is a list of some
of the experts’ responses: “It was a good book because it shows a timeline with a
granddaughter and her grandmother.” “I liked the pictures because they showed what the
grandmother wrote and what the granddaughter wrote back.” “It really lifted my spirits,
especially when the grandmother had the chance to see her great granddaughter.” “It
made me think of my grandma.”
I highly recommend this book to children of all ages, especially students in grades 1-5.
Younger children would enjoy reading this book because they are like a sponge ready to
absorb love from their grandmother. For young adults it will give them a sense of pride
and appreciation knowing that they are the progeny from this remarkable person. Finally,
I would recommend this book to adults because they can relate this experience to their
own children.
Highly Recommended.
Possible SOL uses:
English (1995)
2.3 Contribute information, ask questions, or build on another person’s idea in a small
group setting
2.5 Use prior knowledge to interpret pictures in order to predict the story
2.18 A- Measurement: Calendar- Identify specific dates
Marqquita Copeland
Reviewer’s Name: Ms. Copeland’s 2nd and 5th Grade classes
March, 2003