Thank You, Grandpa

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This glowing picture book, by turns playful and poignant, portrays the tender relationship between a grandfather and granddaughter as they appreciate nature together over the years. They take their first walk in the woods when the little girl is barely old enough to toddle; their last when Grandfather can only shuffle along. Each walk brings a new discovery-a sneaky snake, flashing fireflies, teardrops on a spiderweb-and sometimes a lesson about saying good-bye. One day the girl walks alone, stronger because she ...

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Overview

This glowing picture book, by turns playful and poignant, portrays the tender relationship between a grandfather and granddaughter as they appreciate nature together over the years. They take their first walk in the woods when the little girl is barely old enough to toddle; their last when Grandfather can only shuffle along. Each walk brings a new discovery-a sneaky snake, flashing fireflies, teardrops on a spiderweb-and sometimes a lesson about saying good-bye. One day the girl walks alone, stronger because she learned from her grandfather how to be grateful for life's fleeting gifts.

Illustrated by Jason Cockcroft.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This story traces the lives of a girl and her grandfather as they grow and change over time. It begins with a description of their first walks together when the girl is just a toddler, highlighting their quests for dandelions and birds in the bushes. The girl is soon old enough to ask questions about what she sees. "What's that?" she queries as she sees a bumblebee, a snake, a squirrel, and a spider web. One day, the two find a grasshopper lying still in the leaves. The girl wonders what they can do. The grandfather replies, "We can say thank you and good-bye." They dig a hole and place the grasshopper inside, thanking the animal for its hops and bounces. As the years go by, they experience many other opportunities to say "thank you" and "good-bye," from the butterfly they find by the side of the road to the mouse in the snow to the firefly in the night. During their last walks together, Grandfather shuffles along holding the girl's hand. Soon, the girl walks alone. She remembers her Grandfather's lesson and reflects upon the gifts from him for which she is thankful—how he kept her steady when she wasn't steady, how he let her run ahead when she was ready, how he shared the world of nature, and how he taught her the words to say at this sad time. Thank you and good-bye. Through an impressionistic style, the illustrations present the natural world with a brightness and clarity that lends to the joy of the relationship shared by the young girl and her grandfather. Plourde has also captured the physical aging of each character, providing a sense of time and growth. Honest and touching without being overly sentimental. 2003, Dutton Children's Books,
— Wendy Glenn
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-This attractive picture book offers a heartfelt tribute to the love between a grandparent and grandchild as well as a way of coping with grief and loss. The story line is simple and episodic, focusing on small wonders and affectionate interactions. Beginning when she's just a toddler, a child shares quiet times with her grandfather. As they walk together, they admire dandelions, spider webs, and fireflies. The man answers all of her questions and teaches her to appreciate the natural world. He also shows her how to say "thank you and good-bye" to the dead insects and small creatures they occasionally find in their explorations. This gentle lesson comforts the girl when the time comes to say a final good-bye to her beloved relative. Plourde's thoughtful text and Cockcroft's expressive paintings work well together to convey both a respect for life and an awareness of the power of love. Soft, light-filled illustrations celebrate the pastoral setting, while the realistic portraits bring the child and her grandfather to life. Cockcroft does a particularly good job of conveying the passage of time, both in the growth of the child and in the more gradual change in the grandfather's appearance. Snippets of dialogue enliven the text and balance the serious subject matter. Parents looking for a way to introduce this difficult topic will appreciate the sensitive story, but it's possible that even browsers who aren't seeking this specific subject will appreciate this unusual picture book.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Soft-focus illustrations in greens and blues, warmed by touches of orange and gold, and set off by warm orange end-papers set the mood for the brief text that tells the story of a young girl and her beloved grandfather. As she moves from toddler to girlhood, grandfather grows older until inevitably, "one day the girl walked alone." On their walks he has taught her to say, "Thank you and good-bye," to the dead grasshopper and the butterfly. Grandfather thanks the fireflies for "brightening our journey into the night." Soon he cannot walk without assistance, and his granddaughter supports him, just as he helped her walk in babyhood. In the end, alone, the girl blows on a dandelion and says, "Grandpa, I love you and I'll miss you. But I will never forget you. Thank you, and good-bye." The images of nature are beautiful, and the joy the grandfather and girl feel at being together is evident in their faces. Though rather sweet, this will provide comfort in times of loss with its reassurance that death is part of the natural cycle of life. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525469926
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/24/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.22 (w) x 11.54 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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