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Grandpa and Bo

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Bo is spending the summer in the country with Grandpa. Grandpa and Bo catch fish and give them names (then they throw them back). They sit under a fir tree and give it a name (Doug). They watch for shooting stars, and when they finally see one on Bo's last night at Grandpa's, they make wishes. They don't say what their wishes are, but satisfied readers will know, just the same. Here is the warmest of intergenerational stories, just right for the entire family.

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Overview

Bo is spending the summer in the country with Grandpa. Grandpa and Bo catch fish and give them names (then they throw them back). They sit under a fir tree and give it a name (Doug). They watch for shooting stars, and when they finally see one on Bo's last night at Grandpa's, they make wishes. They don't say what their wishes are, but satisfied readers will know, just the same. Here is the warmest of intergenerational stories, just right for the entire family.

First published in 1986, Grandpa & Bo is one of Kevin Henkes's first picture books, and is now reissued with new full-color jacket art for a new generation of Henkes fans.
About the Author: Kevin Henkes is the celebrated author and artist of many books for children, including Wemberley Worried, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, and the Caldecott Honor Book Owen. He lives in Madison, WI.

Young Bo spends the summer with his grandfather in the country and has a wonderful time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Playing catch, exploring nature and re-creating a Christmas spent apart are just a few of the ways a boy and his grandfather enjoy their summer together in Grandpa & Bo (1986) by Kevin Henkes. Cream-colored pages and framed pencil drawings suggest the intimacy the pair shares. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Little Bo is visiting his grandfather and together they share an idyllic summer. Their joy comes from simple pleasures in which the activity is secondary to the enjoyment of each other's company. Walking in the rain, fishing on the riverbank, observing the night sky, tossing a ball in the yard, and making things together are better when shared. Grandpa and Bo even celebrate a "summer Christmas." Simple prose, quietly delivered, evokes a range of emotion. Soft, neatly framed pencil sketches are reminiscent of a family album filled with sepia-toned photos of happy times. Comforting and reassuring this, is a perfect inter-generational story. 2002 (orig. 1986), Greenwillow,
— Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Due to family logistics, Bo and Grandpa see each other only at every other Christmas and during the summer, which they spend on Grandpa's farm in the country. They take walks, go fishing, observe life, and have special places where they sit and talk. Grandpa answers all of Bo's questions and gives every bit of life a personalized name: ``That's a praying mantis. . .but we can call him Ralph.'' When Bo realizes that they will be separated at this coming Christmas, the two celebrate a summer Christmas. Warmly and gently told, Grandpa and Bo is balanced by equally soft full-paged pencil drawings with yellow backgrounds throughout. Henkes' story builds slowly yet lovingly, paralleling perfectly the events of a very special summer for a young boy and his grandfather. Laura Bacher, St. Catherine's School, Richmond, Va.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780066238388
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/16/2002
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels—one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels—one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Biography

Kevin Henkes still owns some of his favorite books from childhood. "They're brimming with all the telltale signs of true love: dog-eared pages, fingerprints on my favorite illustrations, my name and address inscribed on both front and back covers in inch-high lettering, and the faint smell of stale peanut butter on the bindings," he says in an interview on his web site.

Back in his peanut-butter sandwich days, Henkes dreamed of becoming an artist. By high school, he had combined his love of drawing with a newfound interest in writing, and at age 19, he took his portfolio to New York City in hopes of finding a publisher. Young Henkes returned home from his weeklong trip with a contract from Greenwillow Books, and he's worked as a children's writer and illustrator ever since.

Henkes's style has evolved over the years to include more humor, more whimsy and a lot more mice. Though he began illustrating his picture books with realistic drawings of children, he's since developed a recurring cast of mouse characters rendered in a more cartoon-like style -- though with a range of expressions that make the spirited Lilly, anxious Wemberly, fearless Sheila Rae and sensitive Chrysanthemum into highly believable heroines. Owen, the story of a little mouse who isn't ready to give up his tattered security blanket, won a Caldecott Honor Medal for its winsome watercolor-and-ink illustrations.

Many of Henkes's mouse books deal with such common childhood ordeals as starting school, being teased and getting lost. Chrysanthemum, about a mouse whose new schoolmates tease her about her name, was inspired by Henkes's own feelings when he started school. "The book is about family, and how starting something new and going out into the world can be very hard," he told an interviewer for The Five Owls. "I remember going to kindergarten -- my grandfather had a beautiful rose garden, and he gave me the last roses of the season to bring to the kindergarten teacher the next day. I don't even remember how it happened, but an older kid took these flowers from me on the playground, and I remember coming home, feeling awful." As a grown-up, Henkes is able to translate difficult childhood transitions into stories that are both honest and reassuring. In a review of Chrysanthemum, Kirkus Reviews noted: "Henkes's language and humor are impeccably fresh, his cozy illustrations sensitive and funny, his little asides to adults an unobtrusive delight."

Henkes has also written novels for older children, in which he "explores family relationships with breathtaking tenderness" (Publisher's Weekly). In The Birthday Room, for example, a twelve-year-old boy learns the reason for his mother's long estrangement from her brother, and helps effect a reconciliation. "Refreshingly, Henkes has given us a male protagonist who is reflective, creative and emotionally sensitive," wrote Karen Leggett in The New York Times Book Review. "Ben feels the anguish of his mother's long-simmering bitterness and his uncle's agonizing guilt. Yet at a time when it is almost a fad to blame dysfunctional families for problems, we learn that even though there are never simple answers and not many fairy-tale endings, families can heal."

Though his novels are more complex and serious than his picture books, all Henkes's works suggest an author with deep empathy for the intense emotions of childhood. As a Publisher's Weekly reviewer wrote, "Behind each book is a wide-open heart, one readers can't help but respond to, that makes all of Henkes's books of special value to children."

Good To Know

Henkes's wife, Laura Dronzek, is also an artist. She painted the cover illustration for Henkes' novel Sun and Spoon and illustrated his picture book Oh!.

Henkes has turned down requests to use his mouse characters in a television series, but some of his books are available in video form in Chrysanthemum and More Kevin Henkes Stories. The video's narrators include Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary Beth Hurt.

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse has been adapted into a stage play.

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    1. Hometown:
      Madison, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 27, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Racine, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin, Madison
    2. Website:

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