Saturday, October 21, 2017

Book Review: 'Call Me Nonna' by Elaine Bertolotti

Elaine Bertolotti is widely known as a writer of books on subject ranging from wedding planning, Christmas traditions, and travel – New York, Florence, Turin, Athens, Hawaii, Eight European cities, and the terrific KEEP YOU SHIRT ON (do’s and don’ts for travelers in Italy). But in this book Elaine turns the age page into being a grandmother and shares this brief but endearing book about the joys and chuckles of being a grandparent.
As Elaine subtitles her book – ‘A look into a grandmothers diary…Humorous observations of a grand mother (nonna, in Italian) on her grandson’s first two and a half years’ - this is not a memoir as such but indeed is a diary of entries about the fun and hilarious experiences of having a grandchild.

‘It’s such a grand thing to be a mother of a mother – that’s why the world caller her grandmother’ is a typical quote form this excellent, warm book. He wisely divides her book into sections – not forgetting an opening section of the thrill of becoming a grandparent. Her lists of information shared she mounts in the following subtitle – ‘How to be a good wife, How to be a great husband, How to be a perfect parent, Do’s for Grandparents, Don’ts for Grandparents, “Why?” Questions children ask, and You know when your grandchild is around.

The first chapters are sound advice on preparing for the role of having a new child around – a grandchild, of course, but then the fun start with the last two chapters. Some of the WHY questions are ‘why can’t Mommy grow a beard like Daddy?, Why don’t we eat dessert Before the meat?, Why can’t babies talk right away?, Why don’t cats bark like dogs?, Why can’t I have a Polar Bear as a pet?, Why isn’t the snow, blue or pink?, Why can dogs eat bones, and I can’t? and on and on – 160 Whys in total.

Then we come to the ‘You known when your grandchild is around - ‘some 50 odd puzzle pieces are scattered on the living room floor, All 30 stuffed animals are sitting on your sofa, The TV remote control is stuck on the cartoon channel, You have to throw away the uneaten veggies on his plate, You race him to the bathroom every 5 minutes so he doesn‘t “slip”, You forget about talking on the phone without a background noise and so many more.'

For a fine warm laugh, reminiscing, or just preparing for the new role of grandparent, this little book is a treasure. Here is a book that is the perfect gift for at least a dozen or so of your friends. Elaine Bertolotti is a natural at this subject. Enjoy and read frequently. Grady Harp, October 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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