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Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
Operation Nana: A Plan Full of Love, written and illustrated by Kelle Lima, is a story for children about the people we love. This imaginative story features both the family we were born with and the family we build with our hearts. Both are important. Both are based on love. In Operation Nana, a little girl discovers that she loves the woman who lives next door. She is too young to understand that love is love, and she tries to give reasons for her affection. Her neighbor gives the best hugs. Her neighbor has treasures hidden in her house. Her neighbor has a beautiful garden. These are all wonderful things but love is not made of things.
For the bulk of this story, the little girl thinks she must convince her neighbor to be her Nana. She tries to give her neighbor things that she thinks the woman would like. The humor in this story is that none of the gifts works out as planned. Finally, the little girl just asks for what she wants and, of course, her neighbor tells her that she has always loved her. Operation Nana is a good way to introduce young children to the idea of love both within the family and within the community. If your child is lucky enough to have found a family of the heart, this book will open up ways to talk about love. I especially appreciated the way in which this story illustrates that love is not based on things. Kelle Lima’s humor also helps children see that mistakes cannot affect love. She shows that our hearts are strong and our love has no boundaries.