From School Library Journal
PreS-K–As grandfather and grandson walk through the city, the boy asks how everything came to be: tall trees, deep holes, even the litter on the street and the smog in the air. To each question, his grandfather answers, "A little at a time." The text flows smoothly, with a conversational style and repeating phrases that create continuity. The book–Adler's first–was originally published with illustrations by N. M. Bodecker (Random, 1976). The new edition includes minor text changes and features muted, impressionistic oil paintings. Some pictures are more successful than others: the page about growing tall shows great composition and line, while on the spread about litter both human and dog faces seem misshapen. This decidedly quiet book is unlikely to captivate a squirmy audience.Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
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New illustrations refresh this long-out-of-print story, first published in 1976, about a young boy, whose conversation with his grandfather highlights concepts of increments, growth, and time. “How did that tree get to be so tall, Grandpa?” asks the child. “How did it get to be so late?” “A little at a time,” is Grandpa’s refrain, all the way to the gentle end. Tong’s muted, softly brushed, realistic oil paintings follow the affectionate grandfather and grandchild as they move through a city, ending their adventure back home at the boy’s naptime. Throughout, Grandpa models patience as he supportively encourages questions and emphasizes that learning, too, is a gradual process: “I’m like you. I ask many questions. . . . As long as I keep asking, I’ll keep learning, a little at a time.” Even if young kids have trouble grasping the abstract concept of “a little at a time,” they’ll appreciate the book’s everyday scenarios, as well as the characters special intergenerational bond thats sensitively portrayed in these new images. Preschool-Grade 2. --Shelle Rosenfeld