Where Is Grandpa?

Where Is Grandpa?

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by T. A. Barron, Chris Soentpiet
     
 

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When Grandpa dies, the whole family grieves, and his youngest grandson can't imagine life without him. Everyone has fond memories of Grandpa. His granddaughter talks about hiking the canyon with him, and his grandsons remember Grandpa climbing up to the tree house and carving pumpkins in the kitchen. But where is Grandpa now? The youngest boy thinks he knows. Grandpa… See more details below

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Overview

When Grandpa dies, the whole family grieves, and his youngest grandson can't imagine life without him. Everyone has fond memories of Grandpa. His granddaughter talks about hiking the canyon with him, and his grandsons remember Grandpa climbing up to the tree house and carving pumpkins in the kitchen. But where is Grandpa now? The youngest boy thinks he knows. Grandpa is still close by, a part of all the people and places he loved.

"Here is a poignant, touching, and spiritually evocative tale. I heartily recommend it to families everywhere." (Robert Coles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Spiritual Lives of Children)

"Barron makes a heartfelt tribute to a deceased loved one in his picture-book debut, which is given stirring visual expression in Soentpiet's dazzling, crystal-clear mountain landscapes." (Kirkus Reviews)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Barron's (The Lost Years of Merlin) debut picture book, which the flap copy describes as autobiographical, offers a humanist response to death and grieving. On the day that Grandpa dies, a boy listens as his sister, brother and parents share memories of this generous, dynamic man. But he can't bring himself to join in, despite his own fond memories of spending time with Grandpa in the tree house Grandpa had built overlooking the Rockies. At last, the boy asks, "Can anybody tell me... Where is Grandpa now?" Fumbling for a definition of heaven, the father concludes, "Maybe you could say that heaven is any place where people who love each other have shared some time together." Kids may need some help fleshing out this concept, even as the child recalls the wonderful spots he and Grandpa had visited together. Thinking of his grandfather "in all of those places" frees the boy to return to them and, presumably, to carry on with a life that Grandpa has greatly enriched. Depicting stagily lit daytime scenes, electrically hued sunsets and starry nights, Soentpiet's (More Than Anything Else) watercolor tableaux amplify--and perhaps exaggerate--both the natural theater of the majestic mountain setting and the human drama of Barron's graceful story. A useful springboard for dialogue between bereaved adults and children. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
The day Grandpa dies, the two brothers and sister try to help their father face his father's death. The mother begins by remembering the day she met him, and how comfortable she was with him. The older children take turns talking about Grandpa, remembering the good times, until it's the young narrator's turn. He doesn't really feel like talking, and claims not to remember the wonderful things he and Grandpa did together. What he wants to know is, "Where is Grandpa now?" The father says "heaven," but that's not quite enough for the child. He needs a more detailed explanation, and somehow the father manages to overcome his own grief and give a lovely description of "any place where people who love each other have shared some time together." The child lists all the places he and Grandpa have been, and concludes that yes, that's a good idea. The father and son almost smile, and begin to heal. A touching story, with beautiful illustrations, appropriate for any family. No religious restrictions apply. A gentle way to help a family remember a dearly loved grandfather.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698119048
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
12/28/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.14(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One

Every bird needs a nest,
and every kid needs a tree."
That's what Grandpa said
before he built my tree house
in the old cottonwood.
He knew how much I like
to climb trees.
Especially this tree.

Whenever Grandpa joined me
up there in the branches
he would say,
"Let's see as far as we can possibly see."
And I would look
beyond the horse pasture,
beyond the hills, all the way
to the Never Summer range
of the Rockies, and wonder
if somewhere up there
a young eagle was staring back at me.

Sometimes I climb up there
just to chatter with the squirrels.
Sometimes I climb up there
just to be alone.

To dream a little.

But not that day.
That day I didn't feel
like climbing. Or anything else.
You see, that was the day
Grandpa died.

For a long time I sat
on the porch step and waited.
When Dad came home
he got out of the car, moving slowly,
like an old man. Even older
than Grandpa.
Mom hugged him
for a long time. They came over
and sat beside me on the step.
My sister and brother joined us,
and for a while,
nobody spoke.

(Continues...)

What People are saying about this

Robert Coles
Here is a poignant, touching, and spiritually evocative tale. I heartily recommend it to families everywhere.
— (Robert Coles, M.D., Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Children in Crisis)
Connie Holden
The universality of the response to the child's query of Where Is Grandpa? makes this book appropriate for people of all belief systems. The staff within our hospice program has found this to be a most valuable aid in helping children understand and find peace in the loss of a loved one. I only wish that such a book had been available when my children were struggling with the death of their dear grandmother.
— (Connie Holden, Executive Director, Hospice of Boulder County)

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