Runnery Granary


Something is eating the grain stored in Mrs. Runnery's granary, and only Granny Runnery can identify the culprits.

Something is eating the grain stored in Mrs. Runnery's granary, and only Granny Runnery can identify the culprits.

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1996 Hardcover New in New dust jacket 0688141870. C-New book. Binding tight, text clean. Lovely illustrations. A Little Store that's BIG on Service.; Oblong 8vo 8" to 9" tall; 1 ... pages. Read more Show Less

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Something is eating the grain stored in Mrs. Runnery's granary, and only Granny Runnery can identify the culprits.

Something is eating the grain stored in Mrs. Runnery's granary, and only Granny Runnery can identify the culprits.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Newbery Honor author Farmer (The Ear, the Eye and the Arm) here spins a medieval setting and a folktale-like aura into a winsome yarn. For years, the Runnerys' business has run like clockwork: Mrs. Runnery stores the farmers' grain in her stone granary, and Mr. Runnery's mill grinds it into flour. The family is puzzled when grain begins disappearing from the granary, and grows utterly perplexed when neither spiders nor cats can chase the mysterious intruders away. Toasting her toes by the fire, all-knowing Granny pinpoints the troublemakers as gnomes and offers a solution in frolicsome rhyme: "Get hiccups and honey and hair./ Get money and marbles and meat./ Go out to the woods in the moonlight./ And glue the whole mess to a sheet." Echoing the story's loose period setting and timeless good humor, Smith's (Matthew's Dragon) illustrations dovetail neatly with Farmer's text as both demonstrate how Granny's "gnome paper" captures the culprits. Rendered in watercolors and pencils, the full-page art portrays the Runnerys as a most ingratiating clan. And Smith's depiction of the greedy gnomes is just right: they're a wee bit scary, but not too much. Ages 5-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
What can infiltrate a stone granary to eat the grain? Weevils? Rats? Wolves? Whatever it is terrifies the spiders, cats, all who try to help. Only Old Granny Runnery knows who it is in this fresh and original tale. Granny's hilarious solutions to catch the nasty culprits will tickle your funnybone. The art is as spirited as the story. Can hiccups, honey and hair really catch the culprit?
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Farmer's original tale of the Runnerys, Mr. and Mrs., and their daughters Valery and Hillary, is funny and child-friendly, with just enough suspense to keep the pages turning. Smith's watercolor illustrations add warmth and character. Wizened Granny Runnery, curling her toes by the fire, is a joy to behold! Because, of course, it's Granny who solves the mystery of the strange happenings in the Runnery's granary. The text reads easily and the play on words makes it lots of fun to read aloud.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Grain is being stolen from Mrs. Runnery's granary. Neither spiders nor cats can end the pillage, for they are thwarted by the mysterious thieves. Granny, in her wisdom, says "gnome paper" is needed. Finally, the culprits are captured and set sailing down the river. When the sticky paper dissolves, the gnomes just march off to find another granary, but the Runnerys are never bothered again. Framed, carefully detailed pages feature a charming bucolic setting with thatched-roof cottages and characters in peasant dress. Boxes with the look of parchment paper hold the text. A charming tale that story-hour crowds are sure to eat up.Kathy East, Wood County District Public Library, OH
Carolyn Phelan
Mrs. Runnery finds that something is eating the grain in her granary. Thinking it may be weevils, she sets spiders out to catch them, only to return the next day and find the spiders' webs in shreds. Rats? She tries cats, without success. Finally, Granny Runnery names the problem: gnomes. Luckily, she knows how to get rid of them, too: sticky gnome paper. Smith's softly shaded artwork, created with colored pencils and watercolors, gives the story an attractive period setting, a cast of likable characters, and a variety of page compositions. Subtly washed of color, the moonlit scenes are quiet in their shades of gray, yet dramatic in gesture and content. Too colorful and comical-looking to be truly scary, the gnomes' appearance keeps the tone of the story light, although the creatures look a bit cartoonish compared with other elements in the illustrations. An unusual and entertaining picture book.
Kirkus Reviews
A charming fantasy from the author of the Newbery Honorwinning novel, The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm (1995). Night after night, grain disappears from the granary owned by Mrs. Runnery. Suspecting weevils, she imports spiders to gobble up the pests. But in the morning, she finds the spiders spooked and hanging from the ceiling. She tries cats, but they too wind up clinging to the ceiling by their claws. Finally, Granny Runnery announces the solution from her rocking chair by the fireplace—a trap for gnomes! Smith, who must be making a specialty of fantastic creatures (he illustrated Nicholas Heller's Goblins in Green, 1995, etc.), has a field day with the pudgy, multicolored gnomes and brings warmth and dignity to the homier scenes. The ending may not be everyone's idea of a solution—the gnomes are sent downstream to become another family's problem—but readers can be certain that these appealing creatures will never come to harm. A lark.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688141875
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 520L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.31 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Farmer
Nancy Farmer
A former chemistry teacher and insect pathology technician who grew up in a quirky hotel on the Arizona/Mexican border, Nancy Farmer's futurisic, fantastical adventures -- like the 2002 National Book Award Winner The House of the Scorpion -- are clearly a reflection of a happily unconventional life.


Born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in a quirky hotel on the outskirts of Mexico, Farmer's unconventional upbringing around such types as rodeo wranglers and circus travelers all but guaranteed the unique and colorful life that was to follow.

After receiving her B.A. degree from Oregon's Reed College 1963, Farmer enlisted in the Peace Corps in India where she served from 1963 to 1965. From 1969 to 1971, she found herself immersed in the study of chemistry at Merritt College in Oakland, California and later at the University of California at Berkeley from 1969 to 1971. However, her wanderlust eventually took her to Africa, where she labored as a lab technician in Zimbabwe from 1975 to 1978. There, she met Harold, her husband-to-be, who was an English teacher at the University; after a weeklong courtship, they were engaged. Happily married ever since, they have a son, Daniel.

On how she decided to become a writer, Farmer explained in an interview with the Educational Paperback Association, "When Daniel was four, while I was reading a novel, the feeling came over me that I could create the same kind of thing. I sat down almost in a trance and produced a short story. It wasn't good, but it was fun. I was forty years old." She continues, "Since that time I have been absolutely possessed with the desire to write. I can't explain it, only that everything up to then was a preparation for my real vocation."

Her first book, Do You Know Me?, an adventure for young people set in Zimbabwe, was soon to follow this epiphany. The book was well-received by kids and critics alike, and Publishers Weekly praised Farmer for providing "a most interesting window on a culture seldom seen in children's books."

Her follow-up, The Ear, the Eye and the Arm, was named an Newbery Award Honor Book in 1995, and also honored as a Notable Book and a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association, and an Honor Book by the Golden Kite Awards, awarded by the Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators. Most recently, The House of the Scorpion won the 2002 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

Good To Know

A former chemistry teacher, one of Farmer's first jobs was as an insect pathology technician. Said farmer in an interview with the Educational Paperback Association, "I had never taken entomology. All I knew was that bugs had more legs than cows, but my boss wanted someone who wouldn't talk back to him."

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    1. Hometown:
      Menlo Park, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      Phoenix, Arizona
    1. Education:
      B.A., Reed College, 1963

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