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Grandmother Bryant's Pocket

Overview

Suffering from nightmares after her dog is killed in a fire, a young girl in eighteenth-century Maine goes to live with her grandparents.

Suffering from nightmares after her dog is killed in a fire, a young girl in eighteenth-century Maine goes to live with her grandparents.

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HMH Books for Young Readers, 03/27/2000, Paperback, Brand New!

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Overview

Suffering from nightmares after her dog is killed in a fire, a young girl in eighteenth-century Maine goes to live with her grandparents.

Suffering from nightmares after her dog is killed in a fire, a young girl in eighteenth-century Maine goes to live with her grandparents.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in 1787, this inspiring story tells of a girl's grief at the loss of her dog, and the gradual healing process she undergoes. Eight-year-old Sarah Bryant is racked by nightmares after her beloved Patches dies in a fire, and so her parents send her to stay with her grandparents. Grandfather Bryant tells Sarah wonderful stories and Grandmother gives Sarah her pocket (a purse worn under a skirt), which is filled with medicinal herbs, bandages, scissors and two gold buttons. In the company of a one-eyed cat she begins to mend, and when the pocket is lost and stolen, Sarah helps recover it and grows stronger still. Martin's (Good Times on Grandfather Mountain) eloquent text has the force of a prose poem. Garlanded with bright images ("she carried gossip in her pocket"), the narrative advances with an old-fashioned sensibility, character-driven and telling its story in its own good time. Mathers's (Kisses from Rosa) bold yet delicate illustrations seem to have stepped out of a colonial fairy tale. They combine precision with charm, evoking a certain naivet, and work well within the book's small, 5"x7" format. A pleasingly timeless historical tale. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Years ago women had pockets that were not sewn into their clothes. These pocket were tired around the waist underneath skirts. Slits in the skirt allowed access to the pocket. These versatile pockets held many treasures. When Sarah Bryant is bothered by nightmares, her folks send her to visit Grandmother Bryant in the hope that the kindly older woman will be able to help. She gives Sarah her pocket to wear with its words "Fear Not" and some sweet smelling herbs, several brass buttons and her scissors. In time with her grandparents loving support Sarah overcomes her frightening nightmares and other fears and heads back home to her family. A delightful period piece and a girl who readers will cheer for, all packaged in a book the size of a pocket.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Years ago women had pockets that were not sew into their clothes. These pocket were tired around the waist underneath skirts. Slits in the skirt allowed access to the pocket. These versatile pockets held many treasures. When Sarah Bryant is bothered by nightmares, her folks send her to visit Grandmother Bryant in the hope that the kindly older woman will be able to help. She gives Sarah her pocket to wear with its words "Fear Not" and some sweet smelling herbs, several brass buttons and her scissors. In time with her grandparents loving support Sarah overcomes her frightening nightmares and other fears and heads back home to her family. A delightful period piece and a girl who readers will cheer for, all packaged in a book the size of a pocket.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4A story set in Maine in 1787. Eight-year-old Sarah Bryant has been plagued by nightmares since the family barn burned down and her beloved dog died in the fire. Her parents send her to stay with her grandparents, in hopes that Grandmother Bryant will be able to help the child. But nothing works until the day two things happen: a one-eyed cat moves in and grandmother gives Sarah the pocket in which she keeps her medicinal herbs. The girl wears it during the day and tucks it under her pillow at night, pleased with the comforting scent of rosemary and the purring of the cat beside her. The bad dreams stop. A happier Sarah goes home wearing the healing pocket and carrying the cat. Martin's straightforward narrative can be enjoyed as a read-aloud or by independent readers. The pocket-size dimensions of the book fit the story and its potential readers well. The text is divided into small sections with headings, making it a pre-chapter book. Delightful, bright watercolor illustrations in a folk-art style show many interesting details about farm life at the end of the 18th century. An illustrated appendix describes the herbs mentioned in the text and their uses.Virginia Golodetz, St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT
Kirkus Reviews
After the death of her dog in a barn fire, Maine farm girl Sarah Bryant has bad dreams that stick "to her skin like . . . soot." Her parents try to comfort her, but when the dreams persist, her father takes her to Grandmother Bryant for a cure. Her grandmother gives Sarah a cloth purse or "pocket," embroidered with the words Fear Not, but as Sarah's grandfather, Shoe Peg, predicts, "There are no quick cures." In time Sarah is helped over her nightmares by a one-eyed cat who comes to sleep on her pillow and, indirectly, by a greedy neighbor who finds Sara's lost pocket and connives to keep it.

Martin (Washing the Willow Tree Loon, 1995, etc.) gives the story, which is set in 1787, a distinctive tone in poetic chapters that are seldom more than a page long. Aphorisms and folk wisdom intertwine with the telling; characterizations are revealed in two or three unforgettable lines ("Beck Chadwick would walk uphill to make trouble" and "would rather spread bad words that eat apples"). Mathers's cameo-like illustrations harmonize beautifully with the story; its theme resonates.

From the Publisher
"This simple story of grief and healing is immediate and moving, with each page marked by a sense of eloquent communication between author and artist." Horn Book, Starred

"Its theme resonates."—Kirkus Reviews, pointer reivew Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

"Delightful."—School Library Journal, starred review School Library Journal, Starred

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618033096
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/27/2000
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.82 (w) x 5.62 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the author of Snowflake Bentley, winner of the 1999 Caldecott Medal, and The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish, an ALA Notable Book, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book, Riverbank Review Finalist, Notable Social Studies Trade book and winner of The Golden Kite Award for Illustration. She grew up on a farm in Maine much like the one in this story. She lives in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.

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