Grandfather's Dream

Grandfather's Dream

by Holly Keller
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The Vietnam war is over, and Grandfather and young Nam dream that the new dikes will restore the wetlands, bringing home the beautiful cranes that once filled the winter sky. But other villagers think that growing rice is a more practical use for the land. "This is a beautiful book with many layers of meaning and an important message. The simple illustrations...are…  See more details below

Overview

The Vietnam war is over, and Grandfather and young Nam dream that the new dikes will restore the wetlands, bringing home the beautiful cranes that once filled the winter sky. But other villagers think that growing rice is a more practical use for the land. "This is a beautiful book with many layers of meaning and an important message. The simple illustrations...are lovely and appealing."—School Library Journal.

Author Biography: Holly Keller, author-artist of That's Mine, Horace, has written more than twenty books and illustrated as many written by other people. Among the most popular of her picture books are two previous books about Horace, Horace and Brave Horace, and several books about the feisty pig Geraldine. She is the mother of two grown children and lives with her pediatrician husband in Connecticut. In Her Own Words...

"Although I didn't realize that I was launching a wonderful career that would develop many years later, I wrote my first book for children when I was a senior at Hunter High School in New York City. Accepting the offer of my Latin teacher for me to do an extra translation to improve my grade, I produced a fully illustrated dummy of Little Red Riding Hood-in Latin, and set in the appropriate period of history. I also didn't know that it would be a long time before my artistic and intellectual interests would work together side by side quite so neatly again.

"I went to Sarah Lawrence College planning to study art, and ended up with a concentration in American history. I earned a Master's degree in history at Columbia University but never gave up my longing to draw and paint. Some years later Itook a class in printmaking at Manhattanville College, and it was there that everything started to come together. I was working on a series of etchings illustrating a tale by Rudyard Kipling, and my very wise teacher, John Ross, suggested children's books.

"By then I was the mother of two small children and lived with my pediatrician husband in a rural town in Connecticut. I used whatever quiet hours I could find to put together a portfolio, and what little energy remained to take a course in illustration at the Parsons School of Design. I arrived at Greenwillow in 1981 with a pile of drawings for stories that existed somewhere in my head. Susan Hirschman pulled one out and told me to go home and write the story-in a week, no less! Well, somehow I did it, and the sense of unity I had felt back in Latin class was mine again.

"Since that first book, which was called Cromwell's Glasses, there have been many, many stories. Some come from my own childhood (frequently changed just enough to make them turn out more to my liking!), some come from the experiences of my children, and, more recently, some have come from the places to which I have traveled.

"In all the years that I have been writing and illustrating children's books, it has never felt like work. Each new book brings me to a place I have never been before, and I am always excited and happy to be there."

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To create this delicate yet penetrating book, Keller ( Horace ; Island Baby ) drew from her experience working on a project called Saving Cranes in Vietnam. Her prologue explains that the Sarus crane, a Vietnamese symbol of long life and happy families, disappeared during the Vietnam War, when canals dug across the bird's wetland habitat drove it and other creatures away. Here, Grandfather repeats this story to Nam, expressing his belief that, when the rains come, the land will flood and ``the cranes will come home.'' But if they don't, Nam's Papa adds, the younger generation of farmers ``will take back the land your grandfather and the others have reserved for the birds, and use it to plant more rice.'' After the monsoons arrive, the old man rises early each day to search for the cranes, but to no avail. Finally, it is Nam who stumbles upon the first sign of their return, which brings joy to Grandfather and the entire village. Featuring earth tones accented with vivid hues, Keller's effectively understated watercolor and black-pen art captures, with a haunting simplicity, both the warning and the hope implicit in her tale. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
A small child shares his grandfather's dream of helping the cranes, a symbol of good luck, return to their village in Vietnam. The farmers want to plant rice in the wetlands but grandfather has convinced them to wait one season for the cranes to arrive. The story contains a subtle message about the far-reaching effects of war and the importance of stewardship of the earth's resources. Village life is depicted in vibrant ink and watercolor illustrations.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Nam lives with his parents, his grandfather, two lively puppies, and assorted other animals in a small village in the Mekong delta. Before the Vietnam War, this area was home to the Sarus crane, considered to be a symbol of long life and happy families, but during the fighting, canals were dug to drain the wetlands and the cranes disappeared. These facts, necessary to understanding the story, are given in a prologue. In Keller's carefully crafted story, Nam's grandfather hopes that the building of new dikes will restore the wetlands and prompt the return of the birds that he remembers so fondly from his youth. The boy's parents think that the land would be better used for planting rice. The relationship between Nam and his grandfather is an affectionate one-they share a love for animals and stories. After the monsoons come, the wetlands are restored, and eventually the cranes return and their magnificence wins over even the most practical villagers. This is a beautiful book with many layers of meaning and an important message. The simple illustrations, done in flat washes of watercolor in earthy tones and outlined in black pen, are lovely and appealing. They add just the right amount of drama and charm for a story told in very simple prose.-Sue Norris, Rye Free Reading Room, NY

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688123406
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/1994
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.82(w) x 9.55(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
4 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Holly Keller is the creator of many popular books for children, including the Horace books, Farfallina & Marcel, and Help! In applauding her work, School Library Journal noted that she is "an author/artist who truly understands children." Holly Keller lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Holly Keller is the creator of many popular books for children, including the Horace books, Farfallina & Marcel, and Help! In applauding her work, School Library Journal noted that she is "an author/artist who truly understands children." Holly Keller lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >