Look at Me, Grandma!

Overview

Jamie is left alone with his Grandma while his mother has a new baby. He feels confused and a little sad, so his Grandma tells him stories about another young boy, Callum, lost long ago. Callum brings Jamie magical, fun-filled dreams of triumph and strength. With this encouragement and his grandmother's strength, Jamie learns to ride a bike, swim in the sea, and finally, to feel ready to greet his new sibling.

A visit from his grandmother and dreams of a great-uncle ...

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Claire Fletcher New York, New York, U.S.A. 2001 Hardcover First Edition Brand New in Brand New jacket 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. Brand new and unread first American edition, very ... fresh and crisp! Gift Quality! Unpaginated, wonderfully illustrated in color! Dj is nicely preserved in a brand new protective mylar plastic cover! "Jamie is sad when his mother leaves to have a new baby. He doesn't want a brother or sister----he just wants Mom to come home. Then Grandma gently shows Jamie the joys of having a sibling." Read more Show Less

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Overview

Jamie is left alone with his Grandma while his mother has a new baby. He feels confused and a little sad, so his Grandma tells him stories about another young boy, Callum, lost long ago. Callum brings Jamie magical, fun-filled dreams of triumph and strength. With this encouragement and his grandmother's strength, Jamie learns to ride a bike, swim in the sea, and finally, to feel ready to greet his new sibling.

A visit from his grandmother and dreams of a great-uncle he never knew help prepare Jamie for his role as big brother to the new baby who is about to arrive from the hospital.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This curious book combines fantasy elements with a conventional story of a new sibling. While not so eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new baby, young Jamie learns from his grandmother that she once had an older brother named Callum, who died when he was 10. For the next three nights, Jamie dreams that the redheaded, green-eyed Callum visits him, guiding Jamie on his bicycle, swimming with him and riding bumper cars. Callum tells Jamie, "Hold on to me," as the two bob in Fletcher's (Wind Garden) swirling, striated sea of blues and greens. "Then [Callum] melts into the waves and Jamie begins to swim." Although the text never states that Jamie was afraid of these things, each time he tackles them by himself in the daylight, this refrain appears, "Suddenly he isn't frightened anymore." Convinced by his nightly adventures with Callum that big brothers have a lot to offer, Jamie joyfully welcomes home a new baby sister. Mendes's (Tomasina's First Dance) simple sentences and repetitive refrains create an incantatory power, but some children may be confused about Jamie's apparitions and the vague allusions to his fears. The relationship between Jamie and Callum is too sketchy to overcome these shortcomings in the text, despite illustrations that depict Jamie's connection to the dead boy and to his new sister. Ages 3-7. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Little Jamie is getting anxious because his mom is having a baby. When his grandmother comes to visit, she shows Jamie a photo album with pictures of her young brother Callum who died at the age of ten. Jamie begins to have dreams about Callum. In Jamie's dreams, Callum helps Jamie with some of his fears, like swimming or riding a bike. Soon, Jamie is feeling better about welcoming a new baby. He can be a friend to his sibling as Callum is a friend to him. It appears there are two stories being toldĀ¾Jamie's anxiousness about a new baby and his own insecurity and fears. Still, the story comes to a satisfactory conclusion when Jamie greets his new sister and realizes that having a sibling may be a good thing. The illustrations by Fletcher are soft and gentle. 2001, The ChickenHouse/Scholastic, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer:Della A. Yannuzzi
School Library Journal
Gr 2-3-This poorly constructed story about accepting change and being courageous falls as flat as the narrative voice used to convey it. It begins when Jamie's grandma comes to take care of him when his mother goes away to deliver a new baby. "Good-bye, Jamie, darling.-It's time for me to have our baby." Later, Grandma pulls out an old photo album and shows Jamie pictures of her brother, who died as a child. Nothing in the text indicates that Jamie is even all that curious about his great-uncle. Nevertheless, after his sister is born, Jamie dreams about Callum for several nights and those dream-state perceptions of the boy somehow give him the courage to ride his bike, swim in the ocean, and drive bumper cars. Readers are not told that Jamie has had trouble doing these things before, so his newfound resolve isn't very impressive. The narrative vaguely suggests that his forays with Callum are linked to his new feelings of responsibility as a big brother and role model, but that message doesn't come across very clearly. Mendes's text is repetitive and formulaic, her plot is too thin to be interesting, and her characterization is overly dependent on dialogue. Fletcher's illustrations do little to expand upon the skeletal text. This is by no means a first purchase.-Catherine Threadgill, DeKalb County Public Library, Atlanta, GA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Jamie's grandmother has come to care for him while his mother is in the hospital having a baby. (Oddly, there doesn't seem to be a father present.) Seeking to reassure him, Jamie's grandmother shows him a photo album of her childhood. Within the pages of photos are a few of grandma's brother Callum (with red hair and green eyes), who died when he was ten. That night, Jamie's dreams are visited by Callum, who acts as the comforting impetus for Jamie to try some activities he has heretofore found frightening and difficult. The title derives from little Jamie's exclamation each time he acquires one of these new skills, from bike-riding to swimming. These dreams could be viewed as the medium in which Jamie "imagines" what it would be like to have an older sibling mentor just as he would like to be for his new sibling. The dreams also, however, yield an eeriness to this work and lend a kind of unnerving, haunting air, especially when Jamie's new baby sister arrives home sporting Callum's same red hair and green eyes. Fletcher's illustrations are sumptuous, thick with fresh aquas and deep blues evocative of the nearby sea, and the characters are exquisitely rendered, right down to their expressive facial features. Mendes nicely weaves together the triumphs of acquiring new skills with new-sibling jitters, but the ghostly dreams confuse the point. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439296540
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/1901
  • Edition description: 1 AMER ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD60L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.83 (w) x 10.73 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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