Cycling to Grandma’s House. Jac Torres-Gomez. Illustrations by Erin-Claire Barrow
Lulu Publishing Service 2014
Crimson Movement “ aspire[s] to give women the tools to openly talk about their bodies and menstruation without fear or shame. We do this by working to empower communities everywhere to understand and address the barriers women face around menstruation in order to create a happier, confident, more open and healthy society.”
As one of the projects from this movement Cycling to Grandma’s House has been written to provide young girls with a dialogue about approaching menarche and its significance for all girls, not matter what their culture or geographical location.
Luna is charged with a school project to discuss ‘the most incredible characteristic’ of being a girl. Her mother suggests that she ask her Mexican grandmother about the celebration of a girl’s coming-of-age in their culture. On her way to her grandmother’s house, Luna speaks with many of her friends who hail from many different cultures and find out that the menarche is indeed a special moment for all girls. Whether from Japan or Papua New Guinea, whether Ghanaian or Indigenous Australian this rite of passage is a significant milestone in many of the diverse cultures which surround her and her friends are happy to contribute their stories.
Written in a simple and sensitive way, this book is a perfect addition to school HRE programs as well as home bookshelves, de-mystifying and removing the embarrassment that many girls have endured over the years – this one included.
We know that the way forward for women and girls at this point in history is empowerment. This little book goes a long way to educating and arming young women as they blossom into their womanhood.