My Granny Went to Market – by Stella Blackstone (a book review)


My Granny Went to Market (A Round-the-World counting Rhyme)

Written by: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated by: Christopher Corr

Read Alone: Ages 4-7
Read Together: Ages 0-4
Hardcover; Jacketed; Full-color illustrations ; 24pp;
10.25 x 10 inches


This book takes you far away to ten different locations in the world. I feel like after reading this book with my daughter, that I have taken her far away from Massachusetts! In fact, 10 different places in one sitting, isn’t that exciting – for just one book? From Istanbul (did you know that Istanbul is the ONLY city in the world that is located in two continents? Europe and Asia?), to Thailand, to Mexico, to China, Switzerland, Africa, Russia (russs-siiaa), Australia, Japan (Which state in the US means ‘good morning in Japanese’? – Answer: Ohio) and Peru, it definitely is a traveling book! My daughter loves listening to me while I read this book to her – most probably because she hears foreign languages from most of the pages. In fact, she was so excited on the page where the Granny went to Thailand, she ripped it! This particular page contains the Thai words ‘Puyin’ and ‘Puchai’ which means little little girl and little boy respectively.


As the subtitle of this book suggest around the world counting rhyme, this book presents counting in an international sense. As the Granny in the book travels from her first destination to the next, the pages accumulate the numbers of object a particular country is known for. Dig this part from the book:


First destination – from Istanbul – one flying carpet (1)

Second destination – Thailand – two temple cats (2)

Third destination – Mexico – three masks (3)

Fourth destination – China – four lanterns (4)

Fifth destination – Switzerland – five cowbells (5)

Sixth destination – Africa – six drums (6)

Seventh destination – Russia – seven dolls (7)

Eighth destination – Australia – eight boomerang (8)

Ninth destination – Japan – nine kites (9)

Tenth destination – Peru – ten llamas (10)


This book also tackled in a subtle way the different continents of the world. On the very first page of the book, there is a world map that tracked all the travel destinations that the Granny went to. On this map, the continents on where the countries that the Granny visited were in bold letters to emphasize that these countries belong to these continents. 

Rhymes are all over the book. Take for example this page, where the words ‘Japanese’ rhymes with the word ‘breeze’:

An activity that will go along with this book aside from counting and rhymes, is the identification of what people are called from these countries. If you are an educator you could start off a book walk by asking which country does the city of Istanbul belong to? Answer: Turkey. Therefore, if the country is Turkey, the people are called, ‘Turkish’. The lesson activity can move on from this first destination to the last part.

– Alpha


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