Review of “Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs”



Two of my favorite books by Tomie dePaola are Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, and its companion, Now One Foot, Now the Other. The books are beautiful tributes to the memories dePaola has for his grandparents.

“When Tommy was a little boy, he had a grandmother and a great-grandmother.”

So begins the tale that chronicles some of the memories dePaola has of his grandmother and great-grandmother. It is obvious he treasures dearly the memories he has, and I believe he has created a beautiful story that generations will love, and love to share!

” ‘Died’ means that Nana Upstairs won’t be here anymore.”

One of the sweetest parts of the book is when Tomie dePaola tells how Nana Upstairs died, and little Tommy couldn’t understand. He could not comprehend death, yet it became very real to him.

Tomie dePaola handled very carefully the delicate subject of death, and yet came away with a bright, wonderful story of a little boy growing up.

Overall, I found the book to be enchanting, told with a delicacy suited to the subject, yet with a buoyancy and happiness suited to remembering happy times in the past. I would give the book an “A”.

Have you read the book? If so, what are your thoughts?



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