Gus and Grandpa

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Gus shares a warm and loving relationship with Grandpa.

Gus and Grandpa have a loving, warm relationship.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The first installment in a projected series, this wry trio of tales features a engagingly imperfect boy and his engagingly imperfect grandfather. Gus here makes three visits to Grandpa's house. The first time, he plays mainly with Skipper the dog, to whom he throws pieces of dog food ("Maybe Gus could train Skipper to be a circus dog. Maybe he could train Skipper to be a famous dog-food catcher") and creates quite a mess in the process. The other two stories more directly showcase Grandpa's gently ironic sense of humor, as well as the close bond between the pair: Grandpa and Gus go shopping and forget where the car is parked; Grandpa and Gus celebrate their birthdays together. Accommodating beginning readers, Mills's (Dinah Forever) controlled vocabulary and considerable repetition are also used to comic effect. Stock (Tap-Tap; Galimoto) builds on the breezy mood with dynamic, sketchy art, adding details that amplify the proceedings (at the birthday party, Gus wears a paper crown, while Grandpa dons a pirate hat). A witty, warm offering. Ages 6-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
Gus and Grandpa make life an intergenerational treat! They share ideas, plans, and jokes. They hangout together and when things get mixed-up, they work out their problems together, too. This book is simply written-beginning readers will enjoy being able to read it independently. But there is no shortage of meat on this book's bones. There is fun to be had here, and lots to think about, too!
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2In this three-chapter beginning reader with lots of warm fuzzies, Gus visits his Grandpa, plays with Grandpa's dog, finds the car after a trip to the market, and celebrates a shared birthday. The text brings to mind "Dick and Jane" with its repeating words and phrases in short sentences. While this is a common technique used in beginning-reader texts, the presentation here is choppy when compared to James Howe's "Pinky and Rex" series (Atheneum) or Cynthia Rylant's books about "Henry and Mudge" (S & S). However, the loving relationship between the central characters shines through well enough to forgive mildly stilted passages. Muted illustrations predominantly in watercolors complement the warm text with smiling and hugging characters. The layout is nicely varied and quite fluid. The pictures support the text but are a bit bland. An average-quality selection.Jody McCoy, Lakehill Preparatory School, Dallas, TX
Kirkus Reviews
The relationship between seven-year-old Gus and his buddy, Grandpa, is at the core of the first of a proposed series of easy readers from Mills (Losers, Inc., p. 144, etc.).

Each of three short episodes about ordinary events stands alone, but they are neatly tied together at the end. "The Great Dog Trainer" is a mildly humorous tale of Gus's short-lived fantasy to turn his dog, Skipper, into a circus act. In "The Lost Car," Grandpa and Gus go shopping and emerge to find the car "missing"—they've forgotten where they parked. The gifts they exchange in "The Birthday Party" come with winks that only they understand. One-syllable words and short sentences mark this out for the genre and the genial watercolor illustrations are a welcome break from the cartoon drawings usually associated with the formula. The characters interact with real warmth, but they are bland, lacking the personality of most of Mills's characters, and without any of the sparkle of Henry and Mudge.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756919139
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 8/15/1996
  • Series: Gus and Grandpa Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Claudia Mills lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Catherine Stock lives in New York City.

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