Nonna's Porch

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Overview

"Nonna's porch is very still," blessed with the quietude of nature. All of that changes when the sounds of grandchildren burst onto the scene, disrupting the serenity and sending the animals running. But Nonna is able to restore harmony to her home by knitting a wonder-filled blanket for her grandchild, inspired by the beautiful vistas around her. In Nonna's Porch, Rita Gray's verse and Terry Widener's vivacious art compose a peaceful refrain for life, laughter, and love.
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Overview

"Nonna's porch is very still," blessed with the quietude of nature. All of that changes when the sounds of grandchildren burst onto the scene, disrupting the serenity and sending the animals running. But Nonna is able to restore harmony to her home by knitting a wonder-filled blanket for her grandchild, inspired by the beautiful vistas around her. In Nonna's Porch, Rita Gray's verse and Terry Widener's vivacious art compose a peaceful refrain for life, laughter, and love.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nonna isn't one of those bustling-about grandmothers. During the course of a summer day, as she sits, rocks and knits ("Click Click Click Click" go her needles), she and her wood-frame porch seem like a single entity-a feeling aptly summed up in debuting author Gray's refrain, "Nonna's porch is very still." In the early morning, the tranquility is barely broken by some visiting woodland animals, including a chattering chipmunk ("Chip Chip Chip Chip") that boldly ventures up near Nonna's knitting basket. Even the larking about of rambunctious grandchildren (playing a spirited game of hide-and-seek among the trees and bushes, and frolicking with the garden hose) cannot ruffle Nonna's calm constancy. "Nonna's porch is very still,/ Except for the sound of rainbow spray.../ Whooooooossssssshhhh!/ Arched across the grass." The swirl of activity around Nonna culminates in a bountiful family feast; the coda comes at moonrise, when Nonna puts her needles down to snuggle the narrator, wrapped in a homemade quilt. Widener's (The Firefighters' Thanksgiving, reviewed Sept. 27) warm-toned, strongly geometric pictures bring to mind classic WPA murals and gently anchor Gray's free-form text. He makes the domestic magic that radiates from the front porch seem almost palpable. Even youngest readers will grasp that Nonna, in her serene stillness, animates everything and everyone in her vicinity. Ages 4-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Nana sits quietly rocking and knitting on the porch of her large house. The only sound is the creaking of her rocking chair and her busy needles. A red bird is singing nearby, a hungry fawn is eating flowers from her garden, and a chattering chipmunk is exploring her yarn basket. The silence is broken as Nana's grandchildren run onto the porch. The animals scatter and the sounds of busy activity accompany Nana's quiet rocking. Corn is shucked. Lemonade is made. Peas are snapped. Games are played. A family feast features good stories along with the yummy food. As the sun sets, Nonna returns to her porch and her knitting. The quiet is broken only by the sound of a cricket's call and the rustle of a raccoon looking for food. Nonna's heart keeps a steady beat as she rocks her grandson to sleep. Large double-spread illustrations introduce the story at sunrise and close it at dark. All of the other pages have a full color picture on the left side and a bordered detail illustration in the midst of the large text on the facing page. A cozy book to share with young children. 2004, Hyperion, Ages 5 to 8.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Gray captures the sights and sounds of an idyllic summer day in the country. Nonna holds the central place in the activities as she rocks on her porch and knits a blanket that incorporates scenes from her surroundings. A singing cardinal, a munching fawn, and a chattering chipmunk add their noises to the click of her knitting needles. Her grandchildren prove more boisterous. Shucking corn, dashing through water from the hose, and mixing lemonade, they thoroughly enjoy the time they spend together. The use of different sizes and colors of type to emphasize the sounds adds visual appeal to the aural interest. Most text pages include a smaller painting that relates to the larger illustration opposite. Widener's exuberant acrylics make the people and experiences larger than life. As Nonna rocks the narrator to sleep under the finished blanket, her sturdy strength and calm recall the work of Mexican muralists. Readers can imagine this kind of day in whatever season they find themselves.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A wordless introductory spread provides a wide view of Nonna's house in the countryside: a cheery yellow home with a periwinkle-blue roof and a big, wide porch. Nonna is always knitting on that porch in her rocking chair, and she is the heart of this peaceful, thoughtful story, told from the point of view of her grandson. Each spread includes a patterned text, beginning with "Nonna's porch is very still," followed by one sound that can be heard, including the noises of neighboring creatures and the games played by the visiting grandchildren. The final sounds are Nonna's heart beating and her rocking chair creaking as she rocks her grandson to sleep under the blanket she's been knitting throughout the story. Widener's paintings show a happy Hispanic family and a realistically portrayed grandmother who isn't elderly, just middle-aged. Gray's poetic first effort is as satisfying as an ice-cold glass of lemonade and as comforting as a hug from Grandma. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786816132
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2005

    Great Gift

    I gave this book to my grand daughter on her birthday, and she adored it. Her mother reads it to her every night. I couldn't get a better gift.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2005

    THE BEST BOOK EVER!

    This book is outstanding. I read it to my child, and she loved it. I have never read a better children's book in my life

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2010

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