Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An old man lives by himself in a cabin in Georgia; in the summer he works in his garden. One summer his granddaughter comes for a long visit: ``The old man never said how he felt about that, but he didn't seem to mind.'' They worked together in the mornings, but at noon, ``It was so quiet they could hear the leaves touching each other, and the bumblebees bumbling, and the crickets and grasshoppers whirring and scratching.'' At night, he plays songs on the mouth organ. When he gets too old to live in the cabin, he goes North to live with the girl and her mother. He's sad, but the little girl, on the mouth organ, recreates the songs he once played at night and the noise of the cricket chirps and tree-frog trills, bringing the Georgia music back for them both. This is a lovely, lyrical story, told with sensitivity; Stevenson's illustrations capture the stoical character of the old man, whether he is hoeing in a straw hat and suspenders or in a sweater and tie, shoulders a little more slumped, staring at the city lights. The sunset-hued watercolors beautifully evoke the sights and sounds of a hot Georgia summer. (5-8)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 An old man and his granddaughter lead a quiet, simple life during the summer that she visits him in Georgia; working in the garden and playing the mouth organ are their chief pasttimes. There is sadness in their autumn parting, but the girl's mother promises a return visit. However, the following summer finds Granddaddy so ill that they close up his cabin and bring him back to Baltimore to live with them. For a long time the old man simply sits and stares into space, unmoved by the little girl's efforts to draw him out, until she finds his mouth organ and begins to play the sounds she remembered from Georgia. This elicits his first responsea laugh and a whispered phrase that they often shared in the past. The story unwinds slowly and with an appealing gentleness, matched beautifully by Stevenson's softly-toned watercolors, and the relationship between the old man and his granddaughter is delineated in a delightfully understated manner. A very special love story to share with an individual or a group. Kathleen Brachmann, Highland Park Public Library, Ill.