Tamika misbehaves to test the limits of her grandfather's patience. PW said, ``With eloquence and a penetrating glimpse of the fears of children, Greenfield has written a moving story about the reliability of love. Cooper . . . creates family scenes of extraordinary illumination.'' Ages 4-8. (Nov.)
- Deborah Zink Roffino
Children resist change. When Grandfather must transform his facial expressions while rehearsing for a community theater production, his granddaughter worries about the man behind the new face. 1991 (orig.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Muted realistic paintings complement this story of Tamika, a young girl who grows emotionally through love. Tamika loves her Grandpa, and at the theater she watches him turn ``into another person.'' While he is practicing in a mirror, however, she sees a part of his personality that she does not understand, and it frightens her. ``It was a hard face. . . . It was a face that could never love her or anyone.'' These are powerful words that evoke an unforgettable and horrible visual image, and Tamika acts out her inner turmoil at a catastrophic family dinner scene. Striking, in text and illustration, is the moment when Grandpa catches up with Tamika, and gently all is resolved. Greenfield's other books, Grandmama's Joy (Philomel, 1980) and Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems (Crowell, 1978), like the works of Ezra Jack Keats, Sharon Bell Mathis, Jeannette Caines, and Charlotte Zolotow, are strong statements about love. The black characters in Grandpa's Face do not serve any didactic purpose; they simply love and grow. The carefully chosen combination of visual details and large abstract areas support the notion that love is not always clearly definable. It is a rich life for Tamika and for those who experience and grow, and these are rich visual images to support that belief. Gratia Banta, Germantown Public Library, Dayton, Ohio