Cover image for My grandmother is a singing Yaya
My grandmother is a singing Yaya
D'Arc, Karen Scourby.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Orchard Books, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Lulu loves to hear her Greek grandmother sing when they are alone, but she is embarrassed by her grandmother's exuberance in public--until a special picnic at school.
Reading Level:
AD 440 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 55274.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.1 2 Quiz: 25917 Guided reading level: L.
Added Author:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Lulu loves to hear her Greek grandmother sing...but only when they're alone together. In public, it makes her cringe. Yaya bursts into song over a dog, a sunny day, or anything at all. At the Grandparent's Day picnic, Lulu wants her grandmother to act like all the other grandmothers -- and that means no singing! But how can her crooning Yaya keep quiet when there are so many good things to celebrate?

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-7. What's a kid to do with a grandmother who belts out show tunes, Greek folk songs, and bizarre little ditties at the least provocation? Lulu loves her grandmother and the way Yaya sings her to sleep with songs from Yaya's own grandmother's Greek village, but she's mortified when Yaya bursts into song on the street or in movie theaters. Fearing Yaya will embarrass her, Lulu dreads the upcoming Grandparents' Day picnic and frantically tries to keep Yaya's vocal cords under wraps. There's no stopping Yaya, however, from singing her love on the special day. The surprise is that everyone at the picnic thinks Yaya's great. A wonderful depiction of a complex, loving relationship, with bright oil pastels (and large, wiggly type for Yaya's songs) that match the story's exuberance. --Connie Fletcher

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this sweet-natured comedy of intergenerational love and acceptance, Lulu's irrepressible Yaya (the Greek word for grandmother) so embraces life that she bursts into song at the drop of a hat. "I want Yaya to act like the other grandmothers," narrator Lulu tells her mother. "That means no singing in the middle of everything." When Lulu takes Yaya to a Grandparents' Day Picnic at her school, the girl does her best to thwart Yaya's singing reflex. But Yaya's serenades end up making her the toast of the event and Lulu realizes that maybe singing one's way through life isn't such a bad idea after all. First-time children's author D'Arc hits just the right note in Lulu's voice, capturing the girl's vacillation between exasperation and adoration. Palmisciano (Montezuma's Revenge) has a field day with Yaya, endowing her with youthful warmth, theatrically raven hair and stylish legging ensembles. Ages 4-7. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-When Lulu's yaya (that's Greek for grandmother) is having fun, she bursts into song. Serving soup, driving the car, and going to the movies are all occasions for vocalizing. Most of the time, Lulu enjoys the spontaneous singing; but when Yaya attends the Grandparents' Day Picnic at her school, the child desperately hopes that she will behave like the other guests. She manages to forestall many vocal outbursts with questions, activities, and even food but the inevitable happens; Yaya expresses her exuberance in song. But instead of criticism, she wins the admiration of the picnickers and leads the group's "Happy Birthday" chorus, and her granddaughter's private affection becomes public acceptance. This irrepressibly cheerful and energetic tale captures the conflict that exists between Lulu's love of her ebullient grandmother and the need to appear "normal" to society. The dialogue rings true and the child's diversionary tactics are creative and believable. There's lots of fun to be found in the visual and verbal details, including the tantalizing introduction to Greek food and vocabulary and in the exuberant lyrics rendered in oversized and joyful lettering. The oil-pastel illustrations use facial expressions to excellent effect and enhance the pacing of the story. This celebration of the specialness of grandparents will hit all the right notes at storytime.-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.