Daniel and His Walking Stick

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Endearing stories like this one run the risk of becoming too sentimental but Ms McCormick tells this lovely story with admirable straightforwardness and grace. Jesses' parents try to fill the gap she feels from not having grandfathers by telling her stories about her Grandpa Jack ("who died before I was born.") and her Grandpa Ray (who "gave me a bath and tickled my earlobes and sang me songs about the sea"). The gentle watercolor illustrations tell us more of their stories through the pictures on the dresser and those decorating the walls. As the story line unfolds, Jesse and her parents travel to the lakeside vacation spot of her mother's youth. There they meet Mr. Daniel Stockton, an elderly gentleman who had actually known Grandpa Ray. Daniel begins to share his close observance of nature with Jesse as they walk around the lake. She responds to his subtle lessons and soon inquires if a person can "have three grandpas?" Daniel assures her that that would be just fine and the reader instantly understands the bond between the generations is a deep one built on trust and shared experiences that will serve as treasured memories. Jesse has admired Daniel's walking stick from the moment of their first meeting and before she returns to the city he helps her to find one to take home for herself. Jesse's use of the walking stick in the city setting reflects how Daniel used his in the countryside: to measure the depth of the water in the gutter (Daniel had measured the creek's depth), to point out details of the walk, and things observed (like a passing airplane). The series of illustrations that depict these passages are beautiful extensions of the text. The reader can predict that Daniel andJesse will have many more wonderful experiences together and the happy smiles on her parents' faces tell us that they are delighted that Jesse has found a "third grandfather." 2005, Peachtree, Ages 3 to 6.
—Sheilah Egan
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This sweet, gentle book tells the story of how a young girl gains a grandfather. When Jesse's parents take her on a vacation to the country, she meets a friend of her deceased grandfather. With his green jacket and brown boots, Daniel looks like a tree. He teaches her lessons about nature as they take daily walks, and he never goes anywhere without his walking stick. When Jesse asks where he got it, Daniel tells her that the story can't be told "until just the right time." Needless to say, that time occurs before this heartfelt book's end. Written from a child's point of view, the narrative is believably tender and explores the special bond between the two. Bergum's transparent watercolor paintings are soft and colorful, and vividly portray the nature scenes. Pair this with Amy Hest's Rosie's Fishing Trip (Candlewick, 1994; o.p.) for a discussion on intergenerational relationships, and encourage individual reading so children may explore the beautiful illustrations.-Jessi Platt, Auburn Public Library, AL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561453306
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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