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When I Am Old with You Paperback – August 1, 1990


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Paperback, August 1, 1990
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books (NY); First Edition edition (August 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531058840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531058848
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 8.6 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,078,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"When I am old with you, Grandaddy," says a small black child, "I will sit in a big rocking chair beside you and talk about everything." And he does, rushing and tripping through all the activities they share--walking on the beach, riding the tractor, visiting friends. As in Johnson and Soman's Tell Me a Story, Mama , the success of this serene book depends on its portrayal of the relationship between a child and an adult. Although the repeated line "when I am old with you" is unnecessarily coy, and the plotless text is somewhat static, the joy the two characters have in each other's company is richly evoked by Soman's vivid, burnished watercolors. Yellow halos of light surround the fireflies, a summer wind blows embroidered curtains through a farmhouse window, morning sun reflects on the water--but most beguiling are the faces of the child and his grandfather, which shine with warmth and love. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

The bond between grandparent and grandchild transcends time, and sometimes transcends an adult's sense of logic, reaching a deeper level of truth. In this story, a small child imagines a future when he will be old with his Grandaddy and will sit beside him in a rocking chair and talk about everything. They will go fishing, drink cool water from a jug, and play cards "till the lightning bugs shine in the trees." The poignant reality that time will never allow these two to coexist at the same age is softened by the fact that they do not have to be the same age in order to share happy times. What the boy dreams of doing with his Grandaddy someday are the same things that they are doing now. This tender story is complemented by Soman's beautifully executed watercolors, which vibrate with life and love. The African-American child and grandfather are distinct individuals, yet also universal figures, recognizable to anyone who has ever shared the bond of family love across generations. --Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Angela Johnson is the author of the Coretta Scott King Honor picture book When I Am Old with You; as well as A Sweet Smell of Roses, illustrated by Eric Velasquez; Just Like Josh Gibson, illustrated by Beth Peck; and I Dream of Trains, which was also illustrated by Loren Long. She has won three Coretta Scott King Awards, one each for her novels Heaven, Toning the Sweep, and The First Part Last. In recognition of her outstanding talent, Angela was named a 2003 MacArthur Fellow. She lives in Kent, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
This beautifully illustrated book brings back fond childhood memories of the precious childhood moments spent with a loving grandparent. Many people, young and old alike, can relate to this book because of its simple, yet touching message. The young child in the book could be a girl or a boy, depending on the reader's preference. This book is an excellent example of multicultural literature to be enjoyed by all who pick it up.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul Martin on September 25, 2000
Format: Library Binding
Ages 3-8 yrs. A tender, warm story spoken through the voice of a grandaughter to her grandfater. "When I am old with you, Grandaddy, we will play cards all day underneath that old tree by the road." When I am old with you, Grandaddy...[etc]." Neat pictures that blend well with the story. It's a nice story that makes for a great bedtime read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lrwilson on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully written book purchased for my 6 year old to read to his "grandaddy". My stepdad cried when he read it to him (he's very sentimental). Recommended for all children, but especially resonates with Black children in relation to their grandaddies.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very sweet, touching story book. It goes through all the activities the little boy does with this grandfather and how even when the little boy is old, he will still want to do these things with his grandfather. You can feel just how much the little boy and grandfather love each other and you can feel and see from the illustrations the grandfather is tiring.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is beautifully and simply written with very nice illustrations. I was surprised that it has not won more awards. I read it to my 3, 4 and 6 year old granddaughters who lost their mother (my daughter) several months ago. I teared up as I read it as it reminded me of my relationship with my father. It is a timeless and ageless book that truly, I believe, would touch the heart of many; I plan on buying a copy for our local library. Highly recommend it!
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