Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2004
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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Product Details

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
181 global ratings