Grandpa's Song

Grandpa's Song

by Tony Johnston, Brad Sneed

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When a young girl's beloved, exuberant grandfather becomes forgetful, she helps him by singing their favorite song.


When a young girl's beloved, exuberant grandfather becomes forgetful, she helps him by singing their favorite song.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Grandpa laughed, ``everything near him shook like a train was passing through,'' and when he sang, ``the house hopped like a cricket and the pictures jumped on the walls.'' So says the narrator of this gentle book about the relationship between a vital, fun-loving man and his grandchildren. When Grandpa begins to ``forget things he should know''--including the secret song he has taught the children--they decide to sing ``the best song in the world'' at his birthday party. In his illustrating debut, Sneed's offbeat, distinctive watercolors emphasize Grandpa's ``kettledrum'' size and zest for life. The skewed perspectives and vibrant colors portray the enormous relative as he might have appeared to the children themselves. Johnston's ( Yonder ; The Badger and the Magic Fan ) story is poignant without being sentimental, and joyously celebrates the love between grandparents and grandchildren. Ages 4-8. (May)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- A bittersweet portrayal of a music-loving grandfather from an established and versatile author, cleverly illustrated by a promising newcomer. Grandpa loves ``nothing better than a good song.'' When he teaches his grandchildren a ditty that begins, ``sweet is the voice of Grandpa,'' they know to sit out of booming range. At first similar to Ackerman's Song and Dance Man (Knopf, 1988), this lyrical portrait of a lively, vital person takes a disturbing, all-too-realistic turn when the man begins to experience memory lapses. Hope is restored through his granddaughter's unwavering belief in his ability to remember his song--she arranges for the family to prime him by singing it first. Sneed's lively watercolor paintings, a curious blend of caricature and realism, reinforce Grandpa's eccentric but lovable nature through subtle, humorous touches, while the unusual and distorted perspectives (as if viewed through a fish-eye lens) make Grandpa loom off the page as surely as his voice booms toward his family. More than just a character study of a beloved man, this book offers a reassuringly honest glimpse at old age and is for special sharing between adult and child, in the tradition of Fox's Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (Kane/Miller, 1985) and Griffith's Georgia Music (Greenwillow, 1986). --Dorothy Houlihan, White Plains Pub. Lib . , NY

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.46(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.13(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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