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Grandpa Green Hardcover – August 30, 2011
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A Look Inside Grandpa Green
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Top Customer Reviews
Grandpa Green is not your run-of-the-mill picture book. It is a layered tale of loves lost and found and lost again but forever remembered. Like the collaborative City Dog, Country Frog, this book would be particularly appropriate for children who have lost a loved one, in this case a grandparent instead of a pet. But Grandpa Green trumps that Mo Willems/John J Muth effort, because it is imbued with a lifetime's worth of remembrances, supported by memory-anchored illustrations. As the boy recounts his great-grandfather's ultimately not so ordinary life, he progressively collects gardening tools that Grandpa Green has forgetfully left scattered throughout the garden. Enjoyably for the reader, most of these inventory items whimsically enhance the memories captured in the beautifully drawn (grown?) foliage. Some of Lane's artwork here is best appreciated on subsequent readings; I think I will let my kids find all the wonderful little details on their own.
The final page (in fact, the only page following the four-page fold-out dénouement) sees the boy creating a topiary on his own, this of his great-grandfather. Thus the cycle continues: the old man's love for horticulture--and the boy's love for the old man--both assured.
Jason Kirkfield, Vine Review, August 3, 2011
This has become one of our bedtime favorites. It's a book that gets us to slow down and talk about what we're reading (a slowness that pairs well with the topiary images I think). I'm thankful that the text is brief because it allows us to read it multiple times in an evening and fill in the spaces with our world observations. (and it really is beautifully illustrated.)
Grandpa Green is the kind of book that affects people, young and old, in different ways. It's a poignant and interesting exploration of a life, and though Smith describes it as a fictional story, it seems deeply personal. Those with an elderly friend or family member or those with loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease will find it particularly touching. And even though the book tackles serious topics, there are plenty of touches of humor and playfulness that you'd expect from Smith like bunnies eating a topiary carrot and a reference to the Wizard of Oz. Both my daughter and son love to discuss all the detailed images found in the ink line drawings and painted foliage.
Minimal text accompanies the amazing illustrations. The story is told by the great-grandson as he wanders through the garden, connecting young readers to the story.Read more ›
The illustrations are done in a subtle palette of green with light touches of yellow, blue and grey, reminiscent of Margaret Bloy Graham's classic illustrations in Gene Zion's `Harry the Dirty Dog' series. Each page provides a biographic fact from Grandpa Green's life; but what makes this tale so delightful is the symbolic topiary trees. Various perspectives are employed to challenge the visual reader to first see the picture and then understand the symbolic meaning of each topiary. Humor is not only expressed within the trees; but also through the boys attempts to help in the garden.
Teachers will delight in the page by page opportunities for instruction across content areas. From idioms, time-order words, summarizing skills, time & place discussions; to science (plants & animals), health (memory, aging) and social science (family, community, WWII) lessons, `Grandpa Green' is packed full of ideas for exploration in the classroom. This is an outstanding book for elementary age kids; but importantly this is also a book for every adult who longs to remember the magic from their past, and the continuity of their life.
A Harry the Dirty Dog Treasury: Three Stories
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wowee! Wow! Wow! I want what Lane Smith eats for brain fertilizer. Who else would have thought to narrate a story about a long and fulfilling life through a great-grandson’s guided... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Anna Marras
Love this book. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is touchingly sweet. We've bought this for many a gift.Published 7 months ago by Grace O'Brien
It's a quiet, sweet book narrated by the great-grandson of a gardener. He shows the reader all the important things that happened in his great-grandfather's life - you know they... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Skye Kilaen
Gorgeous book, beautiful in every way. A great book to give as a present.Published 17 months ago by Hillary J.
I bought this for my 4-year old granddaughter. The story was rather boring (I thought). She told my that she didn't like that book and we haven't read it again. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Zinderella