Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

Rating: 3.5 stars

 Lorelei and Ben read a Dora book a long time ago where Dora "jumps into the book" to save a princess (blech!).  But the thought of jumping into a book has stayed with them.  This is a book that I'd like to jump into.

Undoubtedly, the Caldecott team got it right when they selected this book to be a winner.  The illustrations are phenomenal, and worthy of purchasing the book.  Smith tells the tale of a boy, illustrating the pictures with bushes pruned to become parts of the story.  When the little boy steals his first kiss, the boy is actually kissing a bush cut to be a girl, leafy lips puckering to meet his.  The boy studies horticulture but goes to a world war instead ("What's a world war, Mommy?"  Hmmm...maybe wanted to wait until , Kindergarten for that one...), but happily finds a woman to marry and grow old with.  They have kids and grandkids...

And then the little boy stumbles into his grandfather, whose memory fails him now.  The grandfather is returning to one of his favorite things in his old age--gardening--and is sharing it with his grandson.  "But the important stuff," the book ends, "the garden remembers for him."

Anyone with an aging parent or grandparent, please cue the tears right about now.  Seriously!  I do hope when I'm old and gray and wrinkled I am able to celebrate the amazing moments in my life--and there have been many--in some way.

This book is not for little kids, except for the illustrations, which can definitely inspire and awe the littlest of eyes.  The older they are, the more they can appreciate the illustrations and how they show the story line.  This is a great gift book for older people, I think.  I love that some children's books are mostly for adults, and this is definitely one of them.

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