Dear Fred

Overview

Grace has not seen her older half brother, Fred, for a year-since she and her mother moved to the United States and he stayed in Australia with his father. In a letter, Grace tells Fred about her new home, remembering the good times they shared as well as the occasions when she got him into trouble. Now Grace has her own baby sister, so she understands about being the older child, and she looks forward to Fred's visit, when they can be the "big kids" together. Susanna Rodell and Kim Gamble have captured the ...

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1995 Hardcover New Tracking provided on most orders.

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1995-03-27 Hardcover New This is a new 1995 hardcover. Illustrated front cover. Pages are clean with a secure binding. Free gift-wrapping. Daily shipping. ALL ORDERS ARE ... GUARANTEED. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Grace has not seen her older half brother, Fred, for a year-since she and her mother moved to the United States and he stayed in Australia with his father. In a letter, Grace tells Fred about her new home, remembering the good times they shared as well as the occasions when she got him into trouble. Now Grace has her own baby sister, so she understands about being the older child, and she looks forward to Fred's visit, when they can be the "big kids" together. Susanna Rodell and Kim Gamble have captured the confusion and pain caused by a complex family situation, while showing how family members can create new lives without relinquishing their earlier ties to one another.

A young mouse writes a letter to her half brother back in Australia telling him how much she misses him since they no longer live together.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The story effectively captures a child's perspective on life in modern society." School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Grace, a young mouse, has moved from Australia to the United States with her mother, leaving her half brother, Fred, behind. As she tells him in this epistolary picture book-Rodell's first-she misses him, remembers their games fondly and can't wait until his Christmas visit. Clearly well-intentioned but bland, this portrayal adds little of note to the growing literature on nontraditional families. The memories Grace writes of-playing Knights and Dragons with Fred, making mudpies together, incurring his anger when she breaks a toy-are not rendered with any particular staying power or with any attention to the different geographical settings, and they fail to imbue the siblings' relationships with any distinguishing poignancy or depth. Nor is ``Grace's'' letter always convincing-several passages are baldly meant to convey information to the reader rather than to Fred (``I never thought of you as my half brother, even though you had a different dad''); and the only explanation for the siblings' separation (``That's the kind of thing that happens in complicated families like ours'') is perfunctory and unlikely to reassure. Gamble's cartoonish mice have a pop-eyed geniality but limited expressivess; like the text, they are pleasant but not special. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Grace has moved to America with her family. Grace's half-brother Fred lives in Australia. In a letter to Fred, dictated to her mother, Grace tells him about her new life, reminisces about the good times they used to have together and looks forward to seeing Fred again. The final illustration is of Fred arriving and being met at the airport by a jubilant Grace. If you can accept (and most children are much better at this than are adults) that Grace and Fred and the rest of their complicated family are mice, this is actually a rather touching little book about a family whose relationships are stretched by distance and changed circumstances.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Today's family life can be very complex with parental divorces and the ability to live and work almost anywhere in the world. Grace and her half brother share the same mother, but not the same continent ¾ one lives in North America and the other in Australia. Grace writes her brother a touching letter, telling him how much she misses him, and how she is looking forward to his visit during the summer. A sympathetic handling of a difficult situation for young kids accompanied by delightful watercolor illustrations.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Grace, a young mouse, used to live in Australia where she could regularly see her half brother, Fred. Now she and her mother live in New York with her mother's husband and a baby sister, Ruby. Grace writes to Fred and tries to sort out her feelings about their ``complicated'' family. She recalls the good times they shared, as well as occasions when they would get into trouble. Now she has to be the responsible one and watch out for Ruby. Her letter ends on a wistful note as she says, ``I love you, Freddy, and I hope you remember me.'' The last scene shows an excited Grace and Ruby meeting Fred at the airport when he comes to visit. The watercolor illustrations have a contemporary look that is in line with the subject matter. Grace's apartment, sparely funished with sleek furniture, and the busy cityscapes contrast sharply with the green Australian scenes. The mice's features are elongated, with big, bulging eyes and long tales that curve. The story effectively captures a child's perspective on life in modern society.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Leone McDermott
Divorce can separate children not only from parents, but also, in some cases, from siblings. This book takes the form of a letter written by a little girl to a half-brother whom she has not seen for a year. Grace tells Fred about all the changes that have happened since she and her mother moved to America from Australia. She has a new house, new friends, and a new baby sister. But most importantly, she tells him about things that have not changed: her love for him and her memories of their life together. Rodell's text is simple and touching. The sadness of the separation is partially offset by the bright colors and occasional humor of the illustrations. Children suffering similar separations may find their feelings expressed in this book. Parents will find it useful as a point of departure for family discussions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395715444
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/27/1995
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 8.67 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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