by Alice Schertle, Lydia Dabcovich

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Memories of her mother inspire Schertle's affectionate and affecting portrait of Maisie, first introduced as an infant and last seen holding a great-granddaughter by the hand. The newborn Maisie lies in a bed fashioned from a dresser drawer, hearing the sounds of the family farm. As a child, Maisie loves nature; she trades a pencil for a classmate's frog, only to set it free (``Hop away home,'' she tells it). Schertle's chatty narrative follows Maisie through her courtship and marriage to the banjo-playing Walter Triggs, with whom she moves to the city and has four children. In turn, the children, too, leave home ("Fly away free," Maisie tells her brood). But they return with their offspring to visit Grandma Maisie and Grandpa Walter. Finally, after 31 great-grandchildren help Maisie blow out the candles on her 90th-birthday cake, Maisie and the youngest walk down to the stream, where the girl sets a frog free, bidding it to "hop away home." This pleasingly nostalgic tale gracefully underscores the importance of letting go and welcoming back. Though occasionally overly sketchy and seemingly unfinished, Dabcovich's (illustrator of Schertle's William and Grandpa) softly focused pictures capture Maisie's spunk and warmth, and perceptively convey both those things that changed and those that remained constant during this woman's lifetime. Ages 5-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
We follow Maisie's life from her birth (her first bed was a dresser drawer) until her 90th birthday party. Maisie shares her zest for life and love of nature with her children, then her grandchildren, and finally a passel of great-grandchildren. Even when she walks with a cane, Maisie seems more lively and vital than folks years younger. Colorful illustrations add to the warmth of this charming family saga.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3The lifespan of people is difficult for young children to grasp, and this charming story, like Barbara Cooney's Miss Rumphius (Viking, 1982), helps make it more understandable. Maisie is born on a farm at the beginning of this century. Each two-page spread highlights a different part of her lifeyoung childhood, school days, first romance, marriage, family, grandchildren, and great-grandchildrenending with her 90th-birthday party. There is no mention of crises or adversity, giving a sense that life is rich and rewarding. Dabcovich's watercolor paintings capture the warmth of the text and the vibrancy of Maisie and her family. There are several scenes depicted on each spread; this works very well given the book's theme. Clothing and other details emphasize the passing of time. By the end of the tale, listeners will be glad they have had the opportunity for this glimpse at a well-lived life.Jane Gardner Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Stephanie Zvirin
Here's a heartfelt picture book that's perfect for lapsharing with a grandparent. In it, Maisie grows from a baby who sees the world from her bed in a dresser drawer to an elderly woman, the vibrant center of her extended family. With loving simplicity, Schertle's text and Dabcovich's soft-edged, homey paintings adeptly telescope the passage of time: Maisie exploring the farm and pond; Maisie in school, then marrying Walter; in the 1940s; with her hippie grandson on a motorcycle); and, finally, sharing a nature walk with her youngest great grandchild, the very image of Maisie when she was young. Sweetly nostalgic, but never saccharine.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
38888 Harper
Product dimensions:
9.33(w) x 11.21(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

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