"Grandma Calls Me Beautiful"

By Barbara M. Joosse Illistrated by Barbara Lavallee

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"Grandma Calls Me Beautiful" is a picture book about a little girl and her grandmother. The grandmother tells the story about why she calls the little girl, Beautiful. Grandmother loves telling Beautiful's favorite story because it's a way to let Beautiful know she's special and because it reminds her of the traditions of her long-ago family and the island that is her home.

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This books is unique because it includes different words used in the Hawaiian culture, such as Aloha and Tutu. I would read it to a kindergarten level. colorful illustrations engage the students and show the many bright colors of Hawaii. This book can invite the students to reflect on their own self image.

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Aloha- hello and goodbye in Hawaii

Kapa- Soft cloth

TuTu- Grandma

Ae'- Yes!


Students will be sitting on the carpet facing me

Before reading the story:

  • Ask students who they think the story is about? Why?
  • Where do you think the story is? Why?
  • Do you think the little girl is happy?
  • Do you think the grandma is happy?
  • What are they doing?

During the story:

  • When I come to one of the vocab words- stop and explain.
  • Ask about the pictures.
  • Why do you suppose there are so many colorful birds?
  • Why is there so much water?
  • Do the trees look like the trees we have here in Kansas?

After the story:

  • Ask what they thought the story was about.
  • Do you think that the little girl was happy with herself?
  • What are the different things you saw in Hawaii that you don't see where we live?
  • Why do you suppose the grandmother loves to tell this story?
  • Did you enjoy this story?


I thought that my read aloud went great! I wanted to do more of an activity at the end but didn't get the chance to. So we just acted out the vocab words and they seemed to grasp them. There were not students from Hawaii, however I thought the book would bring something new to the table. The strengths, I think were: the students loved hearing their traditions and liked telling me about theirs. The students were also very intrigued with the colorful pictures and the funny vocabulary. Next time I would definitely use a different book that would fit a different ethnicity. However, most of the students are Caucasian and that wasn't really an option. I read the book several times, even to my daughter, but think reading it a few more times would have helped. Especially with the vocabulary. Implementing this has helped me see how important it is for the students to make connections weather it be through their ethnicity or their knowledge of the subject.