A Special Gift for Grammy

A Special Gift for Grammy

by Jean Craighead George
     
 

Newbery Medal winner Jean Craighead George, author of Julie of the Wolves, wrote more than one hundred books for children and young adults. In her heartwarming picture book, A Special Gift for Grammy, she celebrates the relationship between grandmother and grandchild.

Hunter loves his grandmother so much that he gives her a very special gift. He

Overview

Newbery Medal winner Jean Craighead George, author of Julie of the Wolves, wrote more than one hundred books for children and young adults. In her heartwarming picture book, A Special Gift for Grammy, she celebrates the relationship between grandmother and grandchild.

Hunter loves his grandmother so much that he gives her a very special gift. He presents Grammy with a pile of stones that he has carefully collected, and his grandmother is delighted. She finds them as amazing as Hunter does, because she shares his imagination and his appreciation of the natural world. Together they discover many uses for the stones, creating memories that will last a lifetime along the way.

Jean Craighead George’s A Special Gift for Grammy is illustrated with expressive full-color art by the acclaimed team of Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Hunter’s grandmother asks him what she should do with the heap of stones he leaves on her porch, he replies, “What everyone does with a pile of stones.” Her answer, “Of course,” is in keeping with this gentle story’s simplicity and insight. One by one, visitors find uses for the stones: the mail carrier secures a stack of letters, a neighbor decorates her pets’ graves, the gardener hammers a stake, and a boy keeps his wagon from rolling downhill. Finally only six small stones remain—each shaped like something important to Hunter—and he and Grammy turn them into a treasured present for her. One of the late George’s (The Buffalo Are Back) final works, the book gracefully celebrates the beauty and practicality of such innocuous natural objects as stones, as well as an intergenerational relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. Johnson and Fancher’s (One Frozen Lake) gauzy collage, acrylic, and pencil art fleshes out both the natural and human arcs of the story, subtly incorporating a stone motif into backgrounds, displaying brilliant fall foliage, and accentuating the bond between Hunter and Grammy. Ages 4–8. (May)
Children's Literature - Tima Murrell
Hunter collects stones while at his Grammy’s house for a visit. Grammy is not sure what to do with the pile of stones. Hunter tells her to do what everyone does with stones. So Grammy waits. Soon she finds that everyone does have a use for her pile of stones. Hunter returns to find his pile greatly diminished. Grammy takes him on a walk to find a purpose for the last few stones. Imagination and creativity are showcased in this fun little story about all of the different things can be done with a pile of rocks--and about the very special relationship between a grandmother and her grandchild. The colored pencil illustrations help tell the story with plenty of color and inspiration. Discussions about imagination, creativity, and family love will easily follow reading this book. The story book will make a great addition to the family library. Reviewer: Tima Murrell AGERANGE: Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Hunter gathers a pile of stones on his grandmother's front porch. When she and his father ask him what one does with them, he enigmatically answers, "What everyone does with a pile of stones." The mail carrier takes one to keep letters from blowing away. A child uses some to keep his wagon from rolling down the hill. A Brownie places three of them on the sidewalk to indicate to her friends where they should turn right. When Hunter returns, there are only six stones left. He and Grammy take five to the stonecutter, who drills holes in them; now Grammy has a stone necklace. What to do with the one remaining stone? Skip it across the lake, of course. While the story demonstrates a close relationship between a grandmother and her grandson, it comes across as sentimental and precious. It also seems odd that the whole neighborhood takes the rocks off Grammy's porch, rather than from the yard or elsewhere (and that the modern-day neighborhood has a stonecutter). On the plus side, the text reads aloud well. The collage, acrylic, and pencil illustrations are warm and lovely; the lace pattern that comes through gives the art texture and depth. Libraries are likely to want to own this as it is one of the last books George authored before her recent passing, but it is by no means a must-have.—Laura Lutz, Pratt Institute, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
A bond built on love, understanding and trust between a grandmother and her grandson proves pleasantly surprising for all involved. As the time approaches to say goodbye after a visit to Grammy, Hunter leaves a small stone pile on his grandmother's front porch. When she asks him what she's to do with it, he answers, "What everyone does with a pile of stones." She responds wisely, "Of course." A few days pass, and then various people in the community utilize a stone or two for a wide range of purposes. The mail carrier puts one on a pile of letters so they do not blow away, a neighbor marks her pets' graves with a couple, a girl stacks them as a directional signal, the carpenter fashions a plumb line with one, a gardener improvises and uses one as a hammer, while a boy puts a few near the tires of his wagon "to keep it from rolling downhill." Johnson and Fancher combine acrylic, pencil and collage to create finely textured spreads that zoom out to show the bigger picture of how one small act of leaving some stones can end up having a significant impact. When Hunter returns, only six stones are left. How these last several are used will engage readers curious and creative alike. Unexpected gifts for both Grammy and Hunter are the results from George's satisfying ending; the book is ideal for prompting discussions about ripple effects and the power of imagination. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060531768
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/23/2013
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jean Craighead George wrote over one hundred books for children and young adults. Her novel Julie of the Wolves won the Newbery Medal in 1973, and she received a 1960 Newbery Honor for My Side of the Mountain. She continued to write acclaimed picture books that celebrate the natural world. Her other books with Wendell Minor include The Wolves Are Back; Luck; Everglades; Arctic Son; Morning, Noon, and Night; and Galapagos George.

Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are an illustration team with more than forty picture books in print. Their work has garnered rave reviews and won awards. Their books include My Many Colored Days, Bebop Express, I Walk at Night, New York's Bravest, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Salamander Room. They were also concept artists for Pixar's Toy Story and A Bug's Life. They live in California with their son.

Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are an illustration team with more than forty picture books in print. Their work has garnered rave reviews and won awards. Their books include My Many Colored Days, Bebop Express, I Walk at Night, New York's Bravest, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Salamander Room. They were also concept artists for Pixar's Toy Story and A Bug's Life. They live in California with their son.

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