From the Publisher
It is easy to see the influence of Mary Poppins in Root's earth-toned illustrations, which perfectly capture the feisty bluegrass grandma and her rustic woodsy cabin. Includes music, chords, and lyrics to "Owen's Song" and a short note on the beginnings of bluegrass...Kids...will find her modes of transportation delightful and inspirational.
Part lullaby and part tall tale, this warm picture book is both cozy and exciting...The bright, sunny art connects the quiet inside scenes with the wild outdoor ones, and the rhythmic text is exactly right for the lapsit crowd, who will chant and act out the story again and again.
With its heartwarming message and visuals, this is a celebration of the bond between grandparent and child.
Publishers Weekly, Starred
This mother-daughter team's debut collaboration opens with the lyrics and music for "Owen's Song," a bluegrass ode that sets the tone for this lighthearted and endearing tale. Readers then meet Owen's granny. When she hears that the toddler is "a baby who went wiggly, jiggly,/ all-around giggly,/ and tip over tumble/ for bluegrass music," that granny laces up her "thousand-mile shoes," packs her banjo in its "trusty old case with the taped-up handle" and sets out on foot to visit her grandson. Birds arrive on the cherubic toddler's windowsill to report on his granny's progress, while the determined woman encounters daunting obstacles: she crosses a fast, deep river, climbs a tall, steep mountain and traverses a hot, wide desert, each time using "Owen's Song" to negotiate her path. In Root's (Central Park Serenade) gold-flecked, majestic landscapes, river, mountain and desert magically cooperate with Owen's delighted granny. His paintings create a sense of anticipation for both characters, so that when his granny finally reaches Owen's house, their hug feels like a culmination. With its heartwarming message and visuals, this is a celebration of the bond between grandparent and child. Ages 2-5. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
"When Owen's granny heard he was a baby who went wiggly jiggly, all-around giggly, and tip over tumble for bluegrass music," she became one determined lady! Setting off with her trusty banjo in its worn out case and her thousand-mile shoes, she traversed a rapid river, a steep mountain, and a wide desert. How? Through the universal language of music. As she came upon each obstacle, she pulled out her guitar and played a song of her grandbaby, overcoming each problem with her music and her deep desire to see Owen. A little bird keeps Owen abreast of Granny's progress; with each report, Owen is pulled from his bed to the window and finally to the front door where he waits for her to arrive. The pair joyously dance among sunflowers when, at last, she does. Busse and Martin have written a rhythmic, lyrical text, packed with descriptive words as Granny travels and Owen waits. Root's paintings, a combination of whimsy and realism, are filled with movement and warmth. Colors change with the scenery, accurately reflecting Granny's journey. This is a wonderful tribute to love and the power of music; with so many families separated by great distances today, it will be especially enjoyed by those whose grandparents live far away. Lyrics and music for Granny's song are included, as is a note on the origin of Bluegrass Music.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This modern tall tale, told with a finely tuned bluegrass twang, is a fresh and lively paean to intergenerational love. When Owen's granny learns that he goes "wiggly, jiggly,/all-around giggly,/and tip over tumble/for bluegrass music," she packs up her banjo, puts on her "thousand-mile shoes," and heads out on foot for a visit. As she overcomes great distances and seemingly insurmountable geographical obstacles through the magic of her melody, the child waits excitedly for her arrival. The heartwarming conclusion brings the two together, dancing in the glow of the sun and to Granny's rendition of "Owen's Song" (lyrics and music are included). Root's fluid artwork brings warmth, movement, and color to the rhythmic text. The intrepid, sneaker-wearing woman and her young grandson have expressive faces, and the natural landscapes are painted with a mix of realism and whimsy. This is an up-to-date story with family members separated by distance and a dynamic grandmother with vim and vigor. However, the narrative's cadence and traditional structure make the tale feel timeless.-Tamara E. Richman, Somerset County Library System, Bridgewater, NJ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
When Owen's distant Granny hears that he's a baby who goes "wiggly, jiggly, all-around giggly, and tip over tumble for bluegrass music," she just has to pack up her banjo and go dance with him. This is the tale of her journey, which is just as much fun as the music. At each obstacle she encounters, her banjo playing magically transforms the landscape and allows her to continue on her way to Owen's home in the city. Among other things, she tames a wild river into a quiet creek that she can row across. As Granny gets closer, readers see Owen getting ready for her (the birds update him on Granny's progress). It is easy to see the influence of Mary Poppins in Root's earth-toned illustrations, which perfectly capture the feisty bluegrass grandma and her rustic woodsy cabin. Includes music, chords and lyrics to "Owen's Song" and a short note on the beginnings of bluegrass. While less imaginative kids will be left wondering why Granny didn't hop a plane or drive her car, most will find her modes of transportation delightful and inspirational. (Picture book. 4-8)