I grabbed this book from the local library for some inspiration of my black and white mix doll and I’m surprised how much I can relate to this story.
“The main character Alvina has two grannies: Grannie Vero from Trinidad and Grannie Rose from England. When her parents go on vacation, both grannies arrive to look after Alvina. But the two grannies have two very different ideas about what to eat, what to play, even what stories to tell, then Alvina has got a plan…”
Though my family hasn’t got the same Caribbean European background, the cultural difference bits stay the same. My mum is a housewife with a traditional Chinese mindset where family is her first priority and authority is to be respected. She visited me from Hong Kong last summer and we travelled to Paris together with Alex to see my mum-in-law (without my husband!). On the other hand, my mum-in law is more independent and care-free, she grew up in the western world at the time when hippie movement was influencing the world.
It was fine when I looked back but the trip did got a bit out of hand with a few awkward moments, especially when:
- Both grannies have their own mother tongue and speak limited English together
- Both grannies wanted to spend as much time with Alex as possible
- My mum tends to have a protective parenting style while my mum in law is more liberal about it
I don’t think the situation of my family is unique and somehow I believe that anyone who finds a solution to family and relationship conflict deserves a Nobel peace prize!
This book is relevant to not only to multicultural families because the love to family and dedication to find the common ground are universal. At the end of the day, conflicts are what bring understanding and make life more interesting.
Author: Floella Benjamin
Illustrator: Margaret Chamberlain
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Publication Date: 2008