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The Adventures of Granny Clearwater and Little Critter Hardcover – October 12, 2010

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 1-3–When the Clearwaters start their journey west in a covered wagon, a mishap separates Granny and her grandson Little Critter from the others. They travel across the scorching-hot prairie in an effort to find their missing family members. When they grow thirsty, Granny performs a rain dance "taught to her by her grandpappy with itchy feet." They eat fried prickly pear cooked over mesquite. They eventually reach a lake where Granny teaches Little Critter how to fish. The two travelers continue on and reach a mountain that they have to cross. They come upon a wanted poster for Rose Rogers, a stagecoach robber and bad poet. Two days later, Granny and Little Critter met up with him, but he's no match for Granny, who lassoes the villain with her stockings (all 17 pairs) and claims a big reward. When they eventually arrive in California, Granny uses a special panning technique to find gold and they are reunited with their family. This is a wonderful tall tale, told with plenty of humor and enhanced by colorful collage illustrations. The back of the book contains information briefly describing the Western migration, the California gold rush, stagecoach robberies, and other tidbits for readers who might be interested in the period, perhaps even inspiring further research. A rip-roaring yarn.Donna Atmur, Los Angeles Public Library
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In this chaotic picture book bursting at the seams with Old West zaniness, Granny and a tyke identified only as Little Critter tumble out of the family wagon, get lost in the desert, and have themselves some times waiting to be found. While working their way steadily west, they tumble through a few inventive yarns, such as Granny fashioning a lasso out of her 17 pairs of stockings to foil a stagecoach robbery or heating a frying pan so hot that it scalds a river into steam and melts the leftover gold nuggets into a stream. Folksy, western idioms dominate the fun-to-read-aloud text (“The land was as flat as Ma Clearwater’s burnt corncakes”) but usually stay on the clever side of hokey. Busy compositions mix bits of cut cloth and stitchery with acrylics and incorporate some choice words (the a in mountain becomes a lofty peak, the v in valley a sharp trough). It isn’t all yuks, though, and an author’s note touches on the Pony Express, house raisings, and peanut brittle. Grades K-3. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: AD920L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805078991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805078992
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,364,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a Navy brat that lived all over the world including Guam, Paris and the New Orleans Westbank. Even though we moved a lot, my emotional home was always Forest Hill, Louisiana, a little town in the piney-woods where my grandparents lived. I married a Texan and have lived in Texas most of my adult life. Both states feel like home now. I like to say that Louisiana gave me roots and Texas gave me branches.

I started writing on yellow legal pads and didn't own a computer until after I'd been writing a year. Maybe that's why I still write my first drafts by hand.

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Format: Hardcover
The Clearwater family had made the big decision to find their fortune out west. The true excitement, however, did not begin until Granny and Little Critter were bumped out of the horse-drawn wagon and had to find their own way to California. They kicked up their heels and along the way caught a stagecoach robber, delivered letters for the Pony Express, and panned for gold. How would they ever find the rest of the family again in the Wild West?

This lighthearted picture book tells some tall tales that touch upon several historical events, including the great western migration during the 1800s, the California gold rush, and the use of the Pony Express for rapid mail delivery. Collage-based illustrations add to the cheerful tone and can help inspire conversations with young children about this intriguing period in U.S. history.
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