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Children's LiteratureThe sixth "Iris and Walter" story is unusual. It's not everyone's grandfather who can be a substitute teacher when the real teacher is ill. But Iris is delighted to share him with her class. However, after the initial pride in being the helper and the one who shows Grandpa the ropes, Iris has a tough time letting go. Leave it to Grandpa to figure out why Iris is miserable and then treat her to a sundae to talk things over. No moralizing here but a gentle respect for an honest attack of childhood jealousy and confusion. Luckily, Miss Cherry returns and Grandpa can go back to being Iris's special person. Patterns from the other books in the series (Grandpa fondly calls Iris "My girl..." and Walter makes a brief appearance) remind readers of the family's warmth and stability. Davenier's watercolor and ink line illustrations, which owe a tip of the hat to Edward Ardizzone, are a stylish part of the story's charm with warm reds and blues, clean colors, and curvy lines. A fine addition to the series. 2004, Gulliver Books, Ages 5 to 8.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.