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Reviewed by Heather Stockard for Readers' Favorite
Granny JJ Volume 2 by Joshua Cartwright is a delightful collection of stories detailing the adventures of a Guyanese grandmother. She is a detective with a strong sense of right and wrong, and she won’t let anyone get away with anything. This book contains three tales: The Case of the Portable Parking Meters, The Case of the Skulking Schoolboy, and The Case of the Double Bus Driver. They are cute little mysteries and Granny JJ finds ways to solve them and help people, even the bad guys, at the same time. Her investigations lead her all around her village, providing children with a valuable look at another way of life. But it’s the language of the book that really stands out. Cartwright tells the stories in Creole, writing it as it would sound. It’s a fantastic way to capture the setting of the story and the personalities of the characters.
This is a terrific group of stories for anyone wanting to introduce their children to other cultures. Granny JJ is a zesty character with a surprisingly well-developed personality. Much respect to Mr. Cartwright for writing Granny JJ as a Christian. It’s very refreshing to find religion in kids’ literature. The stand-out feature of this book is that it’s written in Creole, which lends a touch of authenticity to the setting of Guyana, and to the characters as well. Children unfamiliar with the language may find it a bit confusing at first, but with a little help they should catch on quickly. Granny JJ is a wonderful and unique book, enjoyable for parents and kids alike.