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Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs (Picture Puffins) Paperback – April 3, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Picture Puffins
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reissue edition (April 3, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0698118367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698118362
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Full-color pictures, newly created by the author 15 years after the book's original publication, add to this spirited true story based on dePaola's childhood memories of his grandmothers. Fans of his Newbery Honor book 26 Fairmount Avenue will recognize these winning matriarchs. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 3^-7. Originally published in 1973, this autobiographical picture book was one of the first to introduce very young children to the concept of death. Given its graceful treatment of a difficult subject, it has been a parental staple ever since, and a new generations of readers will be glad to discover this timeless tale in a lovely new edition. In an appended note, dePaola says he approached this project "as a completely new book." Thus, the format is larger than formerly, the pictures have been re-done in full color, and even the text has been slightly modified, though the story remains the same: every Sunday four-year-old Tommy's family goes to visit his grandparents. His grandmother is always busy downstairs, but his great-grandmother is always to be found in bed upstairs, because she is 94 years old. Tommy loves both of his nanas and the time he spends with them. He is desolate when his upstairs nana dies, but his mother comforts him by explaining that "she will come back in your memory whenever you think about her." Although dePaola's book is a nostalgic tribute to his own family, its theme--that not only people but our love for them survives in our memories--is universally true and important. Michael Cart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

"Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.
It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.
He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his ""singular attainment in children's literature,"" the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his ""continued distinguished contribution,"" and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.
Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.
- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition for his books in the children's book world, including:
- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association

"

Customer Reviews

This book by Tomie dePaola is wonderful!
Mom of 7
This is a very gentle way of coping with the loss a death brings upon someone.
"ashybug"
My 3 and 6 year old sons love the book as do I!
ChristineMM

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By ChristineMM TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 13, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful tale of a 4-year-old boy's close relationship with his 94-year-old great-grandmother. His great-grandmother lives in the upstairs bedroom of the house with his grandmother and grandfather, who play a lesser role in the book. The little boy has a weekly routine of visiting "Nana Upstairs" and sharing mints with her. It is nice to see an elderly person being cared for in the home of relatives rather than in a nursing home! She is so frail that she can't sit upright unassisted, so she is tied into a chair. Don't worry; this is not a scary thing! The little boy also insists on being tied in, so they can be alike. Eventually Nana Upstairs dies. This is not over dramatized and my children were not upset about this, perhaps because the boy is comforted when he sees a falling star in the sky and thinks it is a sign that Nana Upstairs is sending him a kiss. Years later we see the boy as an adult and we find out that Nana Downstairs has died, and he sees another shooting star and is again comforted.
This is a lovely picture book representing a strong bond between a grandparents and their grandson. If you enjoy this book, you'll also like Tomie DePaola's "Now One Foot, Now the Other".
I learned of this book by reading an analysis of it in the book "Inside Picture Books" by Ellen H. Spitz, which is a very detailed analysis of the content of picture books focusing on themes of bedtime, separation, grandparents, death, children's behaviors/manners, and a child's self-concept and self-esteem.
My 3 and 6 year old sons love the book as do I! We originally borrowed it from the library but this is one we'll have to buy so I can keep up with their repeated requests for it!
The older version has pictures in pink, tan, and black. The new version has more colors in the illustrations. Both versions are illustrated by Tomie DePaola.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on September 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
This work was pretty impressive and this comes from one who is not overly fond of the "death and dying" genre of children's literature. This is a story of a young mans relation ship with his great-grandmother and grandmother and the love between them. The book is of course about the loss of a loved one, one who has been apart of your life for as long as you can remember. The subject is delt with in a loving and sensitive way. There are no real tears here, no real sadness, rather a justifiable feeling of loss at first, but then understanding. This is a situation faced by most children from time to time and in fact all of us have probably gone through this sort of expierence. This book is quite useful in talking to children about the subject of death and approaches it in a very positive way. This illustrations are great and the text is simple, to the point, and follows the illustrations quite well. This is one of those books that I think either the parent or teacher could well read with the child as is is bound to bring up some good questions. Recommend this one highly.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
Young Tommy struggles through his happy childhood having two nana's. He loves both of them very much. One is his great grama and the other his gramma. One is very old and stays upstairs, so she is nana upstairs and the same with nana downstairs. One day, n.u. dies and tommy is sad. He wakes up in the middle of the night and sees a shooting star. His mommy says it is a kiss. Well as tommy grows, the same happens to n.d. It happens all over again. I loved this book, it made me cry when i first read it when i was 2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on December 14, 2007
Format: Unknown Binding
I felt compelled to write my first ever Amazon review for this wonderfully sweet and loving little gem of a book by one of my favorite children's book authors. Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs tells the story of a boy named Tommy (5 or 6 years old?)who visits his two "nanas" (grandmother and great-grandmother) with his family every weekend. It describes the routines and the special relationships he has with both of them. What is so striking about this book is the message of the importance of inter-generational love and respect for one's elders and the unique bond children have with them. Without giving too much of the story away, the ending line gets me everytime, even to this day I can't read it without tearing up. In my opinion it's a "must-have" in every library (children's and adult's.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a child, a copy of this book was purchased for me by a close friend of the family. I was born without grandfathers, as both died before I was born. My grandmothers were all quite old and it turned out that this book was a comfort to me as they had both died by the time I was seven. Mine is the original colours - brown and pink - but I'm sure this copy is as good if not better. I definately recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is a true gem. Your child (and you!) will fall in love with the sweet and simple story about a young boy and his beloved grandmothers. The illustrations are sensational, and they evoke the same meaningful feelings the text doles out. This book will give everyone who reads it a greater appreciation for life, for loved ones and for children.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "ashybug" on March 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a very gentle way of coping with the loss a death brings upon someone. Tommy was very lucky to have spent part of his life with his great-grandmother. Being a true story, I'm sure Tomie dePaola cherishes the memories of his Sunday visits to Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs. The unusual things (like being tied to a chair) and the stories are what make the memories special. My favorite character in this story was Tommy. I would recommend this book to anyone, of any age. It is especially good for a child coping with the death of a loved one.
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