Happy Birthday, Grampieby Susan Pearson, Ronald Himler
A poignant, warm story of how a granddaughter's love for her grandfather breaks through the barriers of language and age. Full color.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyMartha's grandfather is blind, and it's his 89th birthday. His hands shake, and he doesn't ``speak English anymore . . . just Swedish.'' Martha's father explains that when some people grow old, they only remember their first language. Martha has saved money in an empty cigar box for her grandfather's birthday presenthis favorite Swedish tobaccobut now she is concerned. She has prepared a special card for him with felt letters on it, so that he'll be able to ``read'' it. But what if he doesn't remember the meaning of her words? The moment of truth comes when he traces the letters, ``Happy Birthday Grampie. I love you,'' with his fingers. ``Martha, I love you, too,'' he says. It seems that words from the heart have no limitations. Pearson's story, of an elderly person with special needs, seems both deeply personal and universal; she has packed high emotion into a small story. Himler's watercolors are sweetly affecting, alive with cherishable touches and warm moments. Ages 4-8. (April)
School Library JournalPreS-Gr 3 Martha's grandfather is celebrating his 89th birthday, and she has crafted a card with the words ``Happy Birthday, Grampie. I Love You'' on it. The words are textured so that he can feel them with his fingers, as he is blind. Martha is worried all the way to the nursing home because her grandfather has been speaking only in his native Swedish lately, and she doesn't know if he will be able to understand the card. Soft transparent realistic watercolors match the story's gentle mood, which is reminiscent of the author's Karin's Christmas Walk (Dial, 1980) in reaffirming the bonds of family love. Although similar to Patricia MacLachlan's Through Grandpa's Eyes (Harper, 1980) in its sensitive treatment of the theme of the blindness of a grandfather, this is also a satisfying and rewarding portrayal of a family's treasured moments. Lorraine Douglas, Winnipeg Public Lib . , Manitoba, Can .
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