Grand Ma Mere loves two things best in the whole world-her grandson, Pierre and her beautiful tulip gardens. Everyone can understand why she adores her gardens; they are among the most beautiful in all of Paris. As for Pierre, the servants cannot quite understand her affection. Pierre loves to play tricks on anyone and everyone; everyone except Grand Ma Mere. Every spring and every autumn, Pierre visits Grand Ma Mere and plays his tricks. Pierre decides that it's time to play a trick on Grand Ma Mere and devises what he thinks is the grandest trick of all. But this year, the tables are turned much to Pierre's surprise. Santini's watercolor illustrations are brilliant, lively, and perfect.
K-Gr 2-- Twice a year Pierre visits his Grand Ma Mere at her opulent Parisian estate. The grandame loves both her grandson and her garden, but it is apparent that she has more control over her flowers than she does over his constant trickery. She is a woman of wit and resourcefulness, however, and when Pierre plans a prank involving her tulips, she has the last word. Perhaps the story would sound better when told by the author, who is a professional storyteller; in print, however, it is bumpy and disjointed, and Pierre is more annoyingly self-centered than funny. Santini's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are a good fit for a Parisian trickster story; her style is a coarse variation of Lisbeth Zwerger's, peopled with Toulouse-Lautrec-like characters. --Carolyn Jenks, formerly at Oyster River Elementary School, Durham, NH