When Catherine the Great and I Were Eight! by Cari Best, Giselle Potter |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
When Catherine the Great and I Were Eight!

When Catherine the Great and I Were Eight!

by Cari Best, Giselle Potter
     
 

Readers are in for another rousing good time with Sara and Catherine the Great

The unsinkable heroine of Three Cheers for Catherine the Great! is back!

Sara’s Russian grandma, Catherine the Great, has promised to teach Sara how to float in the sea like a flower. So, on a sizzling summer day, they pile into Mr. Minsky’s old car with

Overview

Readers are in for another rousing good time with Sara and Catherine the Great

The unsinkable heroine of Three Cheers for Catherine the Great! is back!

Sara’s Russian grandma, Catherine the Great, has promised to teach Sara how to float in the sea like a flower. So, on a sizzling summer day, they pile into Mr. Minsky’s old car with Mama and their neighbors and set out for the beach. At first things are fine. But then they’re not: there’s a forgotten bathing suit, car trouble, and so many delays that everyone wonders if they’ll ever get there. Everyone except Catherine the Great. With an enthusiastic “Da!” (Yes!), Sara’s grandma keeps Mr. Minsky’s car chugging down the road, until finally they arrive – just in time for Sara to learn one more lesson from her beloved grandma.

With pictures full of charm and whimsy, this lively sequel to Three Cheers for Catherine the Great! demonstrates that when things go wrong, a positive attitude can make all the difference.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Best's appealing language is filled with puns and atmospheric details that Potter enhances in her whimsical paintings that contrast the hot, crowded car with the open beach and cool sea."

Booklist

"A slice of urban life is cheerfully portrayed in this colorfully illustrated, first-person account of an ill-fated day trip to the beach...Potter's soft, bright paitings feature stylized figures reminiscent of folk art that reinforce the nostaligic feel of the text." —Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The characters featured in Three Cheers for Catherine the Great! return in this second sweet picture book inspired by the author's fond and funny memories of her Russian grandmother. Eight-year-old Sara and her family and neighbors are sweltering in the city's summer heat. To cool off, the whole crew piles into Mr. Minsky's car for a spur-of-the-moment road trip to the beach. Traffic jams, engine trouble and other delays ensue, but Grandma Catherine's resourcefulness, high spirits and enthusiastic expressions of "Da!" (yes!) keep everyone from having a meltdown. The long-awaited dip in the Atlantic Ocean proves an experience for Sara and Catherine to cherish. Best's fluid text and colorful turns of phrase bring a hot summer day into focus-along with a diverse cast of characters. Her childlike details (they sit "three in the radio seat, three in the sandwich seat and two in the carsick seat in the way, way back") will elicit knowing grins. Potter's vibrant watercolors convey a surprising sense of movement given the flattened, na ve style. With their ever-present crooked smiles, her figures-of pleasantly varied shape, size and dress-capture the story's lighthearted sense of adventure. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Sara's Russian grandmother has told her stories of when she was eight years old and how she went to the shore and floated like a flower in the sea. Sara's life is much different in modern day New York but her attachment to her grandmother is very strong. On a blistering hot day in the city, Sara's family and their neighbors set off by car to the beach. First Grandma forgets her bathing suit and then the traffic is terrible but the trek to the beach continues. Even the engine trouble is overcome and the party finally arrives at the ocean at six o'clock in the evening. Minus the midday crowds, the beach is everything they wanted it to be. Sure enough, Grandma shows Sara how to float in the water like a flower. Sara and Catherine the Great are both eight together. This lovely story of grandmother and granddaughter is wonderfully told and complemented beautifully by Potter's stylized illustrations. 2003, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Ages 6 up.
— Joan Kindig, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Sara, her Russian grandmother, and their friends, first introduced in Three Cheers for Catherine the Great (DK, 1999), are back. On a "hotter than a hot potato" summer day, the neighbors decide to head to the beach. Crowding into Mr. Minsky's old car with eager anticipation, the group finds that getting there takes longer than expected, but the adults (especially Grandma) amuse the children and themselves on the seemingly endless ride. When the car breaks down, ever-intrepid Catherine saves the day by providing a hairpin to fix the problem. The hot colors in the exuberant art echo the sizzling feel of summer. Potter imbues the characters with wonderful quirks and personalities that make each one an individual. Although the story line is less compelling than that of the first title, readers familiar with these characters will welcome their return.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A slice of urban life is cheerfully portrayed in this colorfully illustrated, first-person account of an ill-fated day trip to the beach. The second book inspired by Best's own grandmother again reveals "Catherine's" irrepressible spirit: the rest of the family is discouraged by the heat, the traffic, and a breakdown, but Grandma says "Nyet!" to the suggestion they turn around and go home. Readers can practically feel the relief as the family arrives at the beach near six in the evening, and Sara and Grandma finally get to cool off in the Atlantic. Potter's soft, bright paintings feature stylized figures reminiscent of folk art that reinforce the nostalgic feel of the text, although the characters' facial expressions, particularly the sideways smile found often in Potter's illustrations, seem a bit awkward. The theme of intergenerational love is strong here, as Grandma teaches Sara to float on her back "like a flower" in the aqua ocean. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374399542
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
07/16/2003
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.95(h) x 0.31(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Cari Best's previous collaborations with Giselle Potter include Three Cheers for Catherine the Great! , an ALA Notable Book, and Shrinking Violet, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Ms. Best lives in Weston, Connecticut. Ms. Potter lives in Kingston, New York.

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